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

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Any Christmas Cheer?

Well, I now have to admit that I cannot see Villa gaining automatic promotion this season.

For quite some time during the past 2 months I've felt that Villa would catch up with the top two, but the spate of injuries we've had have rather deflated the situation.

With the return of Terry fairly soon, and (hopefully) Green, and with perhaps one or two useful signings in January, then I see Villa consolidating a play-off position. But it will have to be a massive drop in form by Cardiff and other teams for Villa to get second place.

What worries me is that I no longer see enough spark in Villa's form to see them actually succeeding in the play-off stages. It is very difficult to remain very optimistic of Villa's promotion chances.

But how nice it will be to be proved wrong! However, failure to get promotion this season may well force Villa to start using their youngsters as the basis for the future. That's something that certain people have campaigned for, and it's a pity that one or two more young players have not been given more opportunity to date.

But I still feel very much that the Lerner regime did much more damage than has been realised. Not that Lerner himself is necessarily so much to blame except that his appointments at CEO and other levels left a lot to be desired. Still that's the past now. We can only look forward!

A Very Happy Christmas to all!

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Are Villa On A Roll?

My last post was just after the defeat at home at the hands (and feet) of Wednesday. I somehow felt that - despite having lost Terry, Kodjia and now Jedinak to injury for some time - the Villa would still bounce back, and that's what they've done. No, there's not been too much wonderful football to watch, but there's certainly a lot more steel in the players' resolve, as epitomised in Friday's draw at Leeds.

Three wins and a draw in the four matches since that home defeat.are certainly promotion-winning statistics and with Albert taking up the striker's role (ten goals in only thirteen starts) Villa are certainly now no pushovers to anyone.

But at Leeds, Albert's weaker left foot failed on two occasions to spark Villa. It was left to substitute Lansbury to show alacrity and determination to drive through and score the important equaliser. But how Lansbury scored that goal is interesting. Grealish had skilfully got the ball under control and had turned with it, but Lansbury decided drive was necessary and saw the chance, literally pinched the ball off Jack's toes, and went on to show how goals should be scored.

That moment of taking the ball off Jack seems to highlight Jack's shortcoming: his lack of drive. Skill he has and when he came on (with Lansbury) there was definitely a change in Villa's step. But so often, just when Jack needs to propel his way through the opposition like a Courtinho, he fails. But that's not to say that Jack doesn't have a place: I believe he does and I have been surprised that Bruce has not used him more after his comments about Jack at the start of the season.

If Villa do not have more major injury problems then I expect them to continue their upward climb, but with no alternative target man available for Davis other than Gabby, Villa are playing close to their limits.

I'm opti about this season and getting promotion. And with the chairman's plans for the development of Villa Park and all things considered, the future does look bright! Up the Villa!

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