The less said about the defeat at Luton Town the better, but fans can take pride in the performance and result in the season’s home opener. What did the 33,000+ fans at Villa Park and others around the world learn from the win over Rotherham?


Dr X continued his flamboyant relationship with Villa fans, milking their applause as he walked onto the field and bowed before the Holte End. Compared to the secretive, mute, never-there Randy Lerner, the new owner is cheese to Lerner’s chalk.

His tweets still make him prone to saying too much, and critics will say some things are better left unsaid until they are confirmed (or kept behind closed doors – like the tweet about Agbonlahor requesting a meeting with Dr X and RDM) – but his openness is proving a welcome change and if anyone doubted he is a real Villa fan, he certainly is looking like one now.


… “A good cross” that is. In the games at Sheffield Wednesday and Luton, Gestede was easy to miss due to a lack of service to the forehead that saw him rip it up with Blackburn last time he was in this division. His guided header from Cissokkho (Cissokkho! In for Amavi!) sent a message right away and his tidy chip-poke, after one arguably the best move of the game, showed he can do it in a Villa shirt – given a little assist-ance.


Realising one swallow does not make a summer, Bacuna’s performance at right-back on Saturday might lead management to reassess their new player priorities. Often criticised for being out of position when playing in the back line under Lambert (who bought him as a long-term project, then started him after one game), he looked the part against Rotherham and might keep former-fan favourite Alan Hutton on the bench for some time.

He also loves bants with fans, as the current video doing the rounds on social media appears to prove, to mixed reviews (“he’s a ledge” / “this is exactly what we don’t want to see from our players”).


Jack Grealish Mono


On this evidence, Grealish can be the most exciting player at Villa Park in some time. If a Man United player had scored that goal, etc etc. The fact is we haven’t seen a player do what Grealish did (yes, the first defender fell over, but still) since the more glorious times in the Premiership under John Gregory. Fans will hope he can turn it on like that more regularly and perhaps put his shirt among the best sellers this Christmas.

And it’s well worth mentioning the clean sheet thanks in no small part to Chester and Elphick. When the soft goals at the back are stopped, the likes of Jack and Ayew can run riot with more confidence.


Follow Adam Keeble on Twitter @keebo00

Follow MOMS on Twitter @oldmansaid

Next Episode of the new MOMS Podcast coming soon…

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  1. Plainly, both the result and the performance were much improved on Saturday. What impressed me was just how quickly after the ‘same old same old’ show at Luton, RDM got hold of this squad and altered its ‘mindset’. For too long Villa players have been afraid to use the ball, preferring instead to avoid being blamed for losing it. Players like Westwood may have a role, but it isn’t at the beating heart of our creative engine, and in truth never should have been.

    McCormack and Ayew like playing football. They are comfortable with the ball. They are not simple out and out strikers who just score goals. They are completely different from someone like Gabby, in that they can control the ball, beat a man, spot a move, and still play their team-mates in. They can also of course score goals – something else that is now missing from Gabby’s game.

    This new attacking impetus was ably supported by the rest of the team, who pressed and harried and won the ball for their more creative team-mates.

    That Aly played decently is a boon. He remains the best left sided defender at the club, but his support play has not been the best. On Saturday, with a clear plan, he showed why managers like Houllier and Garde speak highly of him. He is what he is, but he looks to be improving under RDM.

    Bacuna is a different kettle. He came to us as a kid of promise. He was tried at right wing back under Lambert. He was decent going forward, but naive and unsure in defence, which may not sound great until you compare it to Alan Hutton. Who manages the double distinction of being awful going forward as well as awful going backward.

    Bacuna was unjustly targetted last season for comments he made to a Dutch reporter that then got the Chinese whisper treatment by the Villa faithful. Bacuna was simply asked – in Dutch – if he one day fancied playing in the Champions League. Of course, he said he would love to, it would be a dream, and who wouldn’t say that? This got twisted, as too much does, into him thinking himself bigger than the club. Utter, vindictive, bullshit, worthy of Twitter. I hope the doom and hate specialists – of whom many still remain at Villa – now stfu and let the kid play. Though I know one loss and the ghouls will be out again.

    Bacuna isn’t the final answer at RB, but he is sure better than the alternative. The Scottish Cafu? The Scottish S.N.A.F.U. is closer to the mark.

    RDM is seeing where previous managers brought players in on reputation, or liked picking old faithfuls, at Luton he saw what we have all seen for too long. A group of frightened individuals shifting the ball like they were shifting the blame, with no team ethic, and no system to follow.

    The impressive thing is, even though we know there are more players to come in, the one’s that RDM picked on Saturday played to their potential. That bodes well not only for our club, but for those that doubt his ability in man management (of whom I was one). He made the changes. Kept it simple. Kept them focused, and told them to go for it. We played, we played well. We played so well we played them off the park.

    Long may that continue, and may there be even better to come. UTV

    • Gone on too long I know, but ….

      We will now see the best of Rudy Gestede with players like Ayew and McCormack running at defences and feeding balls to him, or out wide for crosses. This will be great to see as we have been hammering a square peg into a round hole for far too long. It’s not rocket science is it?

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