What We Learned As Aston Villa Fans After Cherries Victory

Villa were 3/1 outsiders against Bournemouth, with odds like that then the bookies must think we’re heading off to the Championship… But, after the third opening day victory in a row, what can Villa take from the first game of the season in Tim Sherwood’s managerial career that defied pretty much all the pundits predictions? What we learnt as Aston Villa fans after the 1-0 away win…


Tim Sherwood might have been engaged in a few porkie-pies in the build-up to the kick-off of the season. He suggested some of his new signings (in particular Vertout and Gestede) hadn’t been with the team long enough to be considered for the match-day squad against Bournemouth, and yet when his squad was announced Vertout was starting and Gestede was on the bench for the game at Bournemouth.

Now maybe things changed on Friday. Maybe he changed his mind after talking to the players and decided to include them. Or maybe he was looking for an edge as a team without the cultured midfielder and the target man would have to rely on pacy counter attacks (which as it goes, Bournemouth looked pretty comfortable with for most of the game).

Either way, it proved he’s not above saying one thing to the press in the days before a game and then doing something different when the time comes – which Fantasy Football players should bear in mind too!


For all the promise of the new season with a handful of new players making their debuts it wasn’t a great first half. Sherwood said he wouldn’t have chosen a game against a newly promoted team with a point to prove as the season opener and in the first half Villa couldn’t get anything going, while Bournemouth looked much more comfortable.

Luckily the season is a marathon, not a sprint and there’s plenty of time to eek out a few goals from set-pieces until a more free-flowing style incorporating Ayew (who was largely AWOL until he was subbed), Vertout (who showed a little at times but also looked tired by the end) and Gestede (who should start against Manchester United) if that’s what it takes.



Who knows if there’s another player or two to come in before the deadline? A veteran forward? A leader in midfield? Another centre back? It might be a month before Sherwood even knows his best XI. Patience and a few more nervous wins will do until then.


The most satisfying part of the narrow victory over the Cherries was the addition of a genuine Plan B into the mix. With Agbonlahor getting the ball too far from the goal and the defence winning the battle against the dangerous Scott Sinclair, Sherwood rolled the dice on including Rudy Gestede into the mix and – what do you know? – he comes up with the winning goal.

Arrogant Paul Lambert would have kept up the plodding attack that was going nowhere – or maybe thrown on the ace up his sleeve: Charles N’Zogbia – and turned a big point away from home into a limp 1-0 defeat with no change of attitude or game plan, then said we were excellent and done the same again in the next game. Tactics Tim put his big man up front and it was like a shot in the arm that stopped the “are you Walsall in disguise?” chants in their tracks.


It doesn’t sound like Adebayor is coming to the Villa after all. Press reports (always to be taken with a pinch of salt) speculate he wasn’t prepared to come to Villa on loan, even with his full salary being paid, because he didn’t want to move to Birmingham and Sherwood insisted he did.

The vocal fans reaction was predictable (“He’s coming? I’ve always rated him…” then “He’s not coming? Good – the greedy, lazy has-been…”) but there’s something in the air that suggests the story isn’t over yet. In a couple more games if there aren’t goals flying in, there’s every chance the deal could be revisited – unless something else hasn’t been figured out.


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  1. I tell you what else we learned this weekend, that letting Marc Albrighton go was a mistake.Looks like he is finally showing the form that a lot of Villa fans knew he had in him. If the papers are to be believed we are after Aaron Lennon for around £5m. I would take him over Lennon any day of the week. He would’ve probably stayed for life if we wanted him, he was Villa through and through. Just another example of the incompetent, clown-like decisions of the Lambert era.

  2. Richards was like American footballer. Gana made us to forget everything about Snake. Ayew was lost on the field. Gestede was beast. Reminds me of Carew than Benteke. But he has fuel for 30 minutes in his bank, yet.

  3. 6 new players playing together for the first time! Not a bad result. First half belonged to Cherries. I’d be concerned over that if I was Sherwood, but again, it’s the 6 new lads factor. Great back line, slightly confused midfield, ball played back or sideways too often. Sinclair and Gabby wide worked hard, should’ve paid greater dividends. Ayew was lost, he didn’t seem to get into threatening positions. Guyre also looked lost. Rudy on the other hand knew his job from the first minute. He should start against Man U. Hopefully Gil will be fit for Man U game. Can’t sit back for 45 mins against that lot. Lastly Brad was on form, but still needs to watch his distribution.

  4. Hopefully Gestede will be fully fit to go 90 on Friday. I though he was fantastic from the moment he came on. Ayew wasn’t spectatular but its only one game and I think he’s going to take a bit longer to fit into the team than some of our other signings. I wouldn’t mind seeing him as a super sub while he adjusts to the English game. Thought the back four + Guzan were solid for the most part, very encouraged by the Clarke – Richards pairing. After we scored I never thought the result would be in doubt, which is a huge change from last season.

    We were far from perfect but I don’t think anyone expected us to be at this stage. We did a job and took 3 points away from home which is all that matters. Obviously, were going to need to elevate our game if we want to beat United. They always seem to give us trouble. Can’t wait to see VP rocking on Friday.


  5. Still believe we need something between the sticks. Guzan looks so, so nervous. Without doubt another quality striker. Watching the Liverpool match looks like Sherwood was right about Benteke. Looks average to say the least but not receiving any service at all. You were warned Christian.

  6. Can’t be picky about the display, because it’s the first game for a side who met each other on the bus on the way to the game.
    So I’m happy with the result, as is my wife and dog. Happy days.

  7. Well Done TS. Got his tactics and selection right mostly right;Cole for Gil? and Gabby, still wish Sinclair would start in his place then we could get another creative player on. First half was dire, but it was like a preseason for a few given the minutes they’ve been with the team. Vertout showed for the ball a lot. Ayew might step up now his bro has bagged a goal. I like our CB’s but they need to take concentration classes. And didn’t throw it away in the last minutes. UTV

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