I was quite optimistic before the season started; I felt that Villa would come out of their tough first three games with three points, and they have. But the gremlins decided to interject so that the three points were surprisingly (and happily) obtained at The Emirates in the first match, against a rather disunited Arsenal.
I had expected that the points would be obtained in the third match – against
Liverpool at home – but Villa disappointed a little in the
The overall situation is more-or-less what I had hoped for at the start – that Villa have confirmed that they have substantially improved since mid-way through last season and, indeed, that the squad looks capable of producing at least a middle-of-the-table finish to the season as the re-building continues. Their form in the Arsenal match was encouraging, and in the match at
only four days later, they were
unlucky to come away without any points. Stamford Bridge
These first three matches have necessitated the gradual introduction of new ‘blood’, and they will take a little time to develop understanding amongst themselves. But the squad looks as though it will be capable of dealing with the tough programme of fixtures to the end of October and should then be in a good position to develop well in the rest of the season and perhaps even give us a good run in one or two cup competitions.
There is good reason for hope.My fear is that the effective breakaway tactics used in away matches will not be appropriate in home games. The tradition was once that Villa should be the top-dog on their own soil, and that meant visible domination of the opposition. We’ve not really seen very much of that for quite a few seasons at home, and certainly not much against the top teams.