So it’s as good as over – Villa won’t be bouncing back to the Premiership at the first time of asking. What did Villa fans learn going into the Easter Weekend double-header?
Kodjia’s early gift of a goal lifted fans but the familiar problem of not being able to find a second cost them at the end of 90 minutes.
Worse still was the general standard of play from Villa. Once again, fans would have agreed with Bruce that the team was poor. That said, Burton’s only shot on goal was their equaliser.
Oh, for a second goal in the first half! It could have continued the winning run and with the defence as solid as always given everyone hope that maybe, just maybe, the play-offs were a possibility until they inevitably weren’t. As it is, everyone will be philosophical about the poor start to the season and the new year, and the number of players who arrived, only to leave after failing to make much of an impression.
GET WELL SOON
Kodjia is confident he’ll be back this weekend – his injury diagnosis was a dead leg – but it’s going to be tense every time the top scorer goes down.
Best case, he develops a 40-goal partnership with Hogan and champions a promotion team next season. Worst case, Kodjia gets sold and Villa struggle to find the man the team needs to get us up and keep us up.
Every team has players they rely upon, but leaning this hard on Kodjia isn’t ideal. This column will enjoy it while it lasts.
Steve Bruce has revealed he is considering blooding more youth players on the run-in, which can only be a good thing. We’ve seen what the better players in the team can do but the fringe players, who Bruce hasn’t wanted to gamble on in a succession of close games, will benefit from every minute playing in this league, short and long term.
And you never know – will a few show enough in the first team to secure a spot on the bench at least and leave Dr X to divert money elsewhere on more immediate needs rather than sharing the wealth on an influx?
The highlight of the remainder of the season for many will be the game against Birmingham City (although it won’t be on the telly for those not lucky enough to get a ticket to the sold out Villa Park).
Our biggest rivals are having a terrible time of it under Zola, recently given the backing of the board after just 2 wins in 22 games, and it’s easy to relish their failure. But games like this are what it’s all about and while some fans will be wishing relegation on them others will secretly (or otherwise) be hoping they can stay up. It’s hard to maintain a rivalry with a team when you aren’t scheduled to play them in the same league.
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