What We Learnt As Aston Villa Fans This Week After Vital Reading Victory


Three points. Away win. Finally a ‘six-pointer’ battle won. Boy did Villa need it. Some old habits haunted us, but we managed to turn it around before things got too scary. But what did we learn?


1 – Justin Beiber will buy Aston Villa

Of course he won’t, but this rumour has been given a fair bit of mileage this week (well played, Andrew.) I’m no fan, but it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, right? 35 million new fans, a continue revenue stream, global appeal, it all sounds good, but what would he know about running a football club? Nothing, and his tour schedule would mean he’d go missing more than Randy. It’d all end in tears, just like one of his concerts.


Villa’s defence in a word – scary

2 – Defensive numbskullery is contagious

First it was Ciaran Clark and now it’s Nathan Baker. It appears our backline has been infected with a particularly nasty case of the screw-ups. What were you thinking, Nathan? He seemed to take his eye off the ball right at the last second as he sliced it into his own net. We shan’t dwell on it too long, though, because we managed to turn it around, and it says a lot about the spirit of the team to see Vlaar and Clark try to pick him up afterwards. How many errors do we see like that where the guilty player is left on his own to ruminate his misfortune?

3 – Brad Guzan #1

With Tim Howard’s back injury ruling him out for the USA’s World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico later this month the path is now clear for Brad to take a long deserved shot at becoming the number one choice for his country.

However, this may not be such good news for the club. His performances this season have been incredible and if there is a shortage of managers considering summer bids for him then this news could bump up that number considerably. You can’t help be pleased for him though, he fully deserves his chance after being patient for so long, and I can imagine that all Villa fans will wish him luck, but he’s also one of the players I’d really like us to keep hold of next season.

4 – Andi under pressure?

Not from the fans, but from himself! He’s scored only one goal since the defeat to Bradford in January and he looks worried about that, snatching at chances you would normally back him to put away. Luckily, his all round form has remained consistent as he played a crucial part in the equaliser against Reading. Another player Villa must keep hold of at all costs, he’s surpassed expectations in his first full season and I only hope he knows that he doesn’t have to pressure himself into scoring because if he carries on playing his natural game then the goals will come.

5 – Flooding the middle guarantees possession

Yacouba Sylla made an impressive contribution yesterday and was instrumental in our victory. He marshalled the midfield with a quiet influence and kept McAnuff out of the game. With Benteke dropping deep this allowed Villa to see more of the ball and create the space when moving forward. Three points happen when you don’t stand off an opponent but make sure they can’t have the ball, hopefully Lambert will keep this up.


Steven Green is one of the hosts of AVFC Review podcast and writer for Shoot Magazine. Follow him on Twitter – here

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