Five Reason to be Cheerful as Villans
After a limp spell for the club, Aston Villa stomped over Sheffield United to re-assert its claim for Champions League football. With two enormous games on the horizon, here are Five Reasons to be Cheerful, as Villa fans:
Villa’s window may not have been flashy, but it was productive nonetheless. The club seems to have moved away from the older profile signing approach adopted by Steven Gerrard and has reverted back to signing young talent. Most fans wanted a new goalkeeper, right-back and a forward. All three were added, but with a view to the future rather than the present. In Rogers’ case, Emery clearly believes he can contribute this season as his cameo against Sheffield United would suggest, although the opponents were little more than a Championship side.
Back in the Saddle
After a lacklustre six weeks or so, Villa reanimated at Bramell Lane against a very poor Sheffield United side. I can’t help but feel that were it not for the shocking official at Villa Park over Christmas, then Villa would have put a few goals past them on that occasion too, but at least that wrong has been corrected, somewhat.
A first half display ravaged the home team with Villa exhibiting exactly the kind of ruthlessness in front of goal that has been missing for too long. Now for two massive ties in a week to prove that this wasn’t a flash in the pan.
Overall the signing was a poor one given the outlay on the transfer fee and wages. However, Bertrand Traoré delivered some incredibly memorable moments. The goals against West Brom and Leicester being favourites. He could do things that other players couldn’t envisage in their wildest dreams, but alas his exit is a good one for the club. Last summer, Villa’s squad shed some of the poorer signings from the Smith and Gerrard eras with Wesley, Nakamba, Sanson and Coutinho moving elsewhere. Traoré is the latest to leave and hopefully spells an era with fewer signings, but ones of a higher calibre.
After a poor spell, the cushion that developed between Villa and the chasing pack has lost some padding. Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur losing two points against bottom half sides, added more positivity to an already excellent weekend for Villa. West Ham dropped three points, allowing Manchester United to climb ahead of them into sixth place.
With just over three months of the season remaining, Villa sits eight points ahead of sixth place and a chance to extend that further at home against the Red Devils next week.
The midweek game against Chelsea presents Villa with an opportunity to challenge again for the FA Cup. Fans have seen a few failed attempts at Wembley in recent decades, but with the promise of a home tie in the fifth round against Lee United, and a cup specialist at the helm; the Chelsea game becomes a pivotal affair.
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