Five Reasons to be Cheerful as Aston Villa Fans as Villa Park Witnesses a Proper Performance

Well, i don’t know about you, but the performance against Everton was probably the best I’ve seen Villa play at Villa Park all season. Desire, control, application, endeavour and class. Attributes we haven’t seen a lot of at B6 in recent seasons.

It’s safe to say that the likes of Delph, Cleverley, Benteke, Bacuna and Westwood are currently playing their best football in a Villa shirt. Sprinkle on the trickery and dimension of Grealish and we could become quite a force with also Gabby and Sinclair in reserve.

Oh, and well done Mr Sherwood for making us a team again. There’s certainly plenty to cheer about as Aston Villa fans at the moment…

1. Performance

For my money the weekend’s game was Villa’s best home performance in the league this season. Playing against one of the real form teams in the league, who had won five out of their previous six games and were fresh from slapping Manchester United 3-0 the week before, Villa completely dominated them. If it wasn’t for Everton’s 12th man in black, it would have been a much more comprehensive scoreline.

Sherwood has certainly got the team’s passing up to another level . The 52-pass move at one stage as one fan commented, was ‘like watching Brazil’ (when they were good). To me, it reminded me of watching Ron Atkinson’s Villa team at Villa Park in the 90’s.

For seasons Villa have struggled to break teams down at home (including the O’Neill years), not any more.

2. Major Tom

Some of you will remember my United-supporting old man surprisingly singing the virtues of what Tom Cleverley could potentially bring to Villa (check out the Cleverley article here). Well, credit where it’s due, he seems to have been a bit of a prophet, as Cleverley is unrecognisable to the player many United and Villa fans have slated. With Sherwood playing a brand of football that is closer to Sir Alex Ferguson’s than Moyes, Cleverley is on fire!

For my money, he’s been one of the key reasons to Sherwood reviving Villa’s fortunes. His energy, blue collar work ethic to his pressing in midfield and his availability to his teammates for the ball has been top-notch. In recent games he’s even added goals to his game too.

The ex-United midfielder has also given Fabian Delph a midfield partner he can believe in and Villa’s midfield engine room is now one of the best in the league. Ashley Westwood has also thrived in his company.

Suddenly after Villa’s midfield being the team’s weakness for several seasons, it’s now fast becoming it undoubted strength.

3. Magic Moments

The Bacuna slide-rule pass assist and Cleverley’s emphatic finish from it, topped off with a party cannon celebration in the Lower Holte was worth the price of admission in itself. More of these moments please, because they’re really excellent and why I watch football.

4. Drummer Boy

Since the West Brom FA Cup Quarter-final victory and the wholesale improvement in the Villa team’s performances and attitude, the supporters have started to crank it up. Against Everton, the Holte End especially was in good form…even the drummer in L8 was in time!

I bumped into the Brigada 1874 Villa fans, who take the drum in after the game and remarked their drumming had drastically improved on the last couple of home games. Laughing, they told me it was because at the start of the Everton game they gave the drum to an 11-year-old kid to have a go. He put them all to shame and it turns out he’s got a few drumming lessons under his belt!

I remember the drum was a little annoying at the Swansea game, as it was out of time, and I was up in K5 for that game. Against Everton, I was in L7 right next to it, but this kid was beat perfect and it had a noticeable effect of getting fans chanting and singing along.

Hopefully the Villa drummer boy has been born and he’ll continue to lend his services to L8.

5. In it to win it

Spurs, Liverpool, Manchester City and now one of the league’s in-form teams, Everton, have all been dominated in the last four games by the Villa.

If we can cast one eye to the FA Cup final for a moment, we can be very confident that we’re heading to Wembley with the 100% aim of winning the cup. We have nothing to fear anymore.


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  1. Sherwood is transforming villa into a very good team but there’s still a lot to do ,we need to keep our feet firmly on the ground because one slip up and it’s all over , it’s going to take more than what we’ve seen to transform this club into strong top ten contenders ,we also need to see how sherwood reacts to a really bad run of form at the moment it’s win one lose one ,so although the football is great it’s still inconsistent when it comes to stringing wins together ,let’s hope we can but that good run together in the next three games …………

  2. and at palace as well. However what is the problem with concentration? Does not happen with Chelsea. Last 8 games they never won by more than one goal. But usually kept a clean sheet. And won the league.

    Whatever Mourinho said last year about West Ham when they denied them a winning goal, the key to success in football is parking the bus. Mourinho, the ultimate two faced politician, did not complain when he won the European Cup with 33% possession when with inter Milan.

    I enjoy the free spirited attack, great to see and very much the style of Aston Villa. But for those who watched the saunders team, and I revere Mortimer, Shaw, Morley and Withe (Gordon Cowans was simply a God) the most underrated player in the team was Des Bremner. The best holding midfield player I have ever seen at the Villa.

    WIth a player like Des, and he is the standard that Sanchez and Westwood have to be measured against, the back 5 were always comfortable, and Sid and the attacking players could be as attack minded as they liked. Des was riding shotgun in front of the Villa penalty box.

    We can never have players as good as Chelsea, and player for player we did not have the best squad in 1980-83. What won us the Title, The European Cup and the European super cup was team spirit, fitness, organization and the plan which meant we were hard to beat. Rotterdam was the key match. Bayern were superior in all departments. But even with a rookie goalkeeper, Nigel Spink playing only his second full match, they simply could not score against us. We parked the bus that day. Wonderful.

    its the missing factor and if Sherwood can add that to the way we play, its always going to be a formula for success.

    Trevor Fisher.

  3. by far the best performance since under MacDonald (for a week or so) we beat West Ham 3-0 nearly 5 years ago. Need to beat them again on Saturday. I agree that going forward we look excellent, as Andy Gray has said, but there are defensive frailties which Big Sam would have noticed.

    8 goals conceded in the last 3 league matches. And clean sheets as rare as hens teeth. We need full backs who are full backs, Bacuna is superb going forward and if he were the right side of a diamond with cleverly or N’zogbia at the front end the balance would be perfect (Delph on the left side of course). However then the problems start

    Westwood at the back of the diamond is not strong enough in the tackle. Sanchez who is strong and reads the game well has poor distribution, Then we have the centre backs. The changes have not helped, but all the centre backs make serious mistakes. WHo was supposed to be marking Lukaku in the second half on Saturday?

    Given was however excellent and the goals were not his fault. So keep him in the team. WIth 3 games to go and 2 points covering 5 teams, we can still go down. Its now down to holding out for every point. Sherwood is doing a superb job maximizing our attacking potential. He will know he has work to do on the defence.

    Saturday will be attack versus defence for both sides, West Ham are very good in defence but score few goals, We score but concede too easily. But thank heavens for Sherwood. WIth Lambert we would be down already

    Trevor FIsher.

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