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

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Do We See Villa Bouncing Back?

Anyone who is a born Aston Villa supporter and a believer in attacking football is likely to be welcomed with open arms by Villa fans, and those are exactly the qualifications that Dean Smith brought with him to Villa Park, as the new team coach.

His first three games were not highly productive and, indeed, they included two (away) defeats, but it has to be said that those games were quick-fire matches played in the course of one week, giving the new coach little time to orchestrate a plan of action and training sessions with his new charges.

Then came the home win over Bolton which showed glimmers of hope and a sure sign that Villa were being asked to play more positively, and in a pressing upfield manner. However, there were still defensive frailties and dithering to be observed, and they were again twice highlighted in the first half in Smith's fifth match at Derby, who had gone six games undefeated, including a 3-1 thumping of Birmingham the previous week. There was also a tendency to not get shots on target. Hence, despite some 16 shots Villa targeted towards the Derby goal, only one of those had actually been on target. Until, that is, the 74th minute, when Bolasie's powerful run and wonderfully accurate cross found the head (of all people) McGinn who headed it in as though he had been doing that sort of thing all his playing life!

And two further goals came, both excellent in their execution.

So, it was in the last 16 minutes Villa won the match, although since bringing on Elmohammedy as a full-back replacement for Taylor after half-time, Villa had looked more sprightly and created several chances before McGinn's header went in. Bringing on both Elmohammedy and Bolasie (70 minutes) seemed to make the necessary difference for Villa to win the match in such powerful fashion.

We go into the next match (versus our auld rivals Small Heath) in two weeks, after another international break, with some hope of seeing Villa's improved attacking play - well - improving!