Reasons to be Cheerful After Goodison Park Win
By Armen Mirzoian
After a 2-0 win at Goodison Park broke a consecutive run of three defeats, it’s probably more relief than cheer, but here’s this week’s reasons to be cheerful as Villa fans…
1. The World’s Greatest
In a world outside of Football Manager; it is hard to imagine a Villa player being globally recognised as the best in their position. Yet, Emi Martinez has won another international accolade, this time, at The Best FIFA Football Awards. Martinez adds this trophy to his Copa America, Copa American Golden Gloves, World Cup and subsequent World Cup Golden Gloves medals all achieved while at Villa. One further reason to be cheerful is Emi has finally managed to avoid the urge to hump his latest trophy.
The latest photos of a chummy Emery and Martinez will hopefully put to bed rumours of a rift, with comments from Emi’s father also reportedly suggesting he is happy and focused on Villa, with the manager hoping he stays beyond the summer.
Whatever happens, it is a big step for Villa in recent years to have a player reach superstardom levels and creating pride the coaching staff, players and fans can all share.
2. Up, Up and Away
Another away win, another goal for Watkins and a much-needed clean sheet rounded off an excellent day for Aston Villa. It wasn’t always pretty but Villa can now enter an important run of fixtures with their heads up. Watkins’ fifth goal in five games has set a Premier League era record at Villa, which will hopefully spur him on to now take on Vardy’s record of 11 consecutive goals. With Palace visiting Villa Park next, it provides an excellent opportunity to increase the gap above the bottom half of the table and show intent in hunting down the sides directly above.
3. Continual Improvement
When a club finds itself lingering in the middle of the league in March, then the narrative can change very easily. The press are generally still insisting that Villa can get dragged into a relegation battle, while some Twitter fans believe Villa are certainties for Europe. Soon we might even hear that the players are already on the beach. In reality, Villa can finish across a number of positions still but perhaps a sign of continual improvement would be the final points tally.
In Dean Smith’s last full season, Villa attained a respectable 55 points, which normally would have equalled a top half position but sadly only achieved 11th that year. Surpassing this total should be Villa’s target for the season and would signal continual improvement and gives the club a clear target of at least seven more wins and three draws in the last 14 games.
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4. Chelsea Chuckle
Aston Villa are at real risk of losing their grip on the coveted 11th spot. Potter’s Chelsea are doing all that they can to remove Villa from the position that they’ve held for what feels like centuries.
Despite not winning a game since 15 January, Chelsea cannot find a place on the bench for hyped teenager Carney Chukwuemeka to help save their form. Carney left Villa due to the lack of game time yet Potter appears to have seen what both Gerrard and Smith, before him, saw which is that the teenager is far too raw for the Premier League and requires a season or two out on loan.
All in all, Chelsea’s misery may benefit Villa come Saturday afternoon, because if Villa can better Chelsea’s result against an unpredictable Leeds, then Chelsea will drop down into the bottom half with the Midlanders replacing them in tenth.
5. Sob on the Tyne
Sunday’s League Cup final had fans struggling to decide, who they’d most like to see suffer at Wembley: Fernandes and friends or The Saudi Toon. The consensus in MOMS Matchclub definitely backed a Manchester United win, to keep Newcastle grounded (for now) and maintain their trophyless state for another year.
However, being fair to the Geordie fans, they did an excellent job in creating a superb atmosphere at Wembley; with the flag-waving at the end particularly impressive despite their inevitable defeat. With Premier League atmospheres dwindling on the whole, it goes to show that with organisation and desire, supporters can still liven up games when motivated.