Thoughts and issues regarding the past and present of a great football club by "The Chronicler".

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Now Let's Not Be Shot-shy this Christmas!

There is good news to report! ... It's the time of goodwill and it's also present-giving time. And it is just as well we have that as there is precious little to be enthused about as far as Villa are concerned.

After going five games without defeat and what I told myself was just a blip against Fulham, I had hoped that Villa would show up well against Man U and at least obtain a point, but it turned out to be same-old. And with yesterday's result, we have now completed another period of sadness, with three rather poor defeats on the trot. Yes, we have suffered various absences for one reason or another, but if these are players chosen for their ability to play in the top-flight they should be showing some of that ability.

On Boxing Day, the erstwhile claret and blue team - Crystal Palace - appear at Villa Park. On paper, this fixture against the bottom side would appear to be the opportunity for Villa to cast aside the shackles and bring back some cheer to Villa Park, but we all know that matches against bottom sides are never that easy. They usually tend to offer some resistance, and with wee Bannan in their ranks, they should not be regarded as push-overs.

I think at this stage all we ask for is something to cheer about, and with only three of Villa's eight home games producing a Villa goal or two this term, this is the time of year to bolster the fans for the remainder of the season.

So you Villans, get out your sights and aim for goal - you might just score if you try!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Seeing Red!

This week-end, Manchester United arrive at Villa Park. They’re not looking quite the side they have been under Ferguson, so surely it’s now a bit – even if only a little bit – more like a level playing field. Can Villa strike while the iron is hot? If not, why not?

We’ve been a Jekyll and Hyde team this season, beating Arsenal, Manchester City and Southampton (scoring 3 each time) but losing (at home) against Liverpool, Spurs and Everton without scoring. And, very worryingly, against the more under-performing teams in the league, we don’t seem able to score. Villa have just had a further lapse at Fulham but then United are also having difficulty.

I believe we have come to a cross-roads, of sorts. We need, in this one, to take the right fork and at least show the best intentions of winning – nothing less. We have a sequence of scoring in only one game at home in the last four (the one that we won). Another home defeat and/or an innocuous performance will not, I’m sure, be well accepted.

For me, this upcoming match is a great opportunity for Villa to indicate whether they are really progressing.

Any fixture against United – for me – is one to measure Villa’s status by. A win (by any score!) against them this time will cause me to think that perhaps we are moving down the right road.

C’mon the Villa!

Monday, 2 December 2013

To win you need to score - right?

Anyone seen any goals lately?!

Since the start of October (7 games), none of last season's three leading strikers have scored. And the team has scored in only 2 games of those 7.  And this is supposed to be an easier part of the fixture list!

I could of course go scrambling to the record books to find out when this sort of thing last happened, but there have been so many negative records created in the past two years I don't want to depress myself - or you, the reader! - any further.

But I will refer to a period I remember in the 1961-62 season, when Mercer's Minors where not doing too well. And in February (1962) they scored their first goal after 8 (eight) and a half hours' play! Yes, just like now, fans were getting fed up and one particular fan wrote in the 'Argus': "Drab... uninteresting ... First division defence ... second division attack ... they will crack."

The joke was that the very same day Villa went to Arsenal and came away with a 5-4 win after twice being 2 goals down! And that fan's article had appeared in the Argus after  the match had finished!

Derek 'the Doog' Dougan had come alive after a slow warm-up since signing the previous summer.

Villa then beat Bolton, at home, 3-0 (when it might have been 7!) then had an undeserved small blip at Man City (0-1). But over the Easter period, we received eggs-a-plenty!  Leicester City - with the famed Gordon Banks in goal - came down and were thrashed 8-3 on the Saturday, and on Easter Monday Villa followed up with a 5-1 demolition of Notts Forest. Not bad for a team that couldn't score 2 months before!

So ... perhaps there's a moral in that story! Perhaps we should just believe that it will all turn out OK; that the present sequence will end up with a walloping of somebody. Could it be against Man U when it all starts to go right?! Well ... I can hope ... I'm a Villa fan, after all!