Five Reasons To Be Cheerful for Villa Fans After Season Defining Week

Approaching the Arsenal game saw many Aston Villa fans were nervous about their team’s chances in both Europe and domestically, but fast forward one week and the mood has transformed at Villa Park. Here are Five Reasons to be Cheerful as Villa fans:

European Drama

Having watched Manchester City exit the Champions’ League earlier in the week, it was Villa fans’ turn to endure a gut-wrenching quarter-final that went down to the wire. The shootout victory, marked by delays and pedantic refereeing, and Emi Martinez’s second yellow of the tie, left fans in disbelief as their team reached the semi-finals of a European competition for the first time since 1982. With two legs against Greek side Olympiacos to follow, there is a huge opportunity for the club to win its first silverware since 1996.

Sole Survivor

Which other English sides are left in Europe? None. Bring on the Champions’ League next season.

World’s Best

The reception that Emi Martinez received at Villa Park against Bournemouth was a testament to his heroics, not only against Lille in the shootout, but throughout this season.

Sir Alex Ferguson once referenced his goalkeeper being worth ten points per season, but I would argue Martinez has contributed at least double that amount this year. His aura, presence and technical ability give belief to fans and players alike.

Following his World Cup-winning performance and rise to the top of world football, his performances have more than lived up to the reputation. Aston Villa have a player, who is currently surpassed by none in his position globally and that is something worth celebrating.

Home Comforts

After a hugely successful week with the surprising win at the Emirates and the gruelling battle in France, Villa faced a lively Bournemouth side that presented the potential of a banana skin for Emery’s men. Despite trailing in the first half, the team’s performance was assured and controlled from the outset, and judging by the atmosphere in Villa Park, the fans always believed their side would still triumph.

The win was a crucial one as it opened up a six-point gap to fifth placed Tottenham. Villa’s excellent home form from earlier in the season paved the way to the top, but for Villa to definitely stay there, the players will certainly need to continue to recapture their swagger at Villa Park.

Testicular Fortitude

The results of the three matches last week were excellent on their own merits but the steel the squad demonstrated was all the more pleasing. At Arsenal, Villa were the underdogs and under the cosh for the majority of the first half against the league’s most in-form side. Going into half time at 0-0, the players came back out with a shift in attitude and grew in confidence as the half progressed. Despite hitting the woodwork twice, the players refused to accept that ‘it wasn’t their day’ as previous sides may have done against a title-chasing side. Villa kept pushing and prodding and sticking to their game and ultimately received a handsome reward.

Midweek against Lille, Villa were not at their best by any stretch and over two legs were second best. But it will be Villa facing off against Olympiacos due to the mental strength, togetherness and the never-say-die attitude of Emery’s squad. Despite trailing for the majority of the game, the players found a goal to level the tie and then pushed to win the tie in extra time. Martinez and his South American team mates have added some steel and gamesmanship to help the team through these difficult instances.

Finally, without worrying about potential excuses of fatigue or pressure, Villa delivered a complete performance to see off a good Bournemouth side, despite trailing for much of the first half.

All the combined experiences this week, leave me feeling confident that the team has regained its composure and is ready for what is to come in this season finale.


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