I detest the way Sky have messed about with the kickoff times, but for once I was actually very grateful that we had a 5.30pm kickoff.
Work commitments have meant I have missed the last three games, but today, I managed to get in the house two minutes before kickoff, which meant I found a stream just in time.
Missing those three games has also given me a slightly different insight into what our aims are. A new pair of eyes, if you like.
I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.
Ok, so we lost 2-0, but look at that Man City side.
They have an absolute embarrassment of riches and although they’ve had a sluggish start, we all know they’ll be up there challenging for the title, come the end of the season.
So losing at home before we even kicked off was no disgrace , in my opinion.
Well, I’ll just say they are unbeaten in their last seventeen away games. Just to keep things in perspective.
Just as we expected, they came out all guns blazing, with their forward movement a different world from what we can muster. No surprise with Aguero up top and Sylva lurking.
But I thought we held out incredibly well for the first half.
Ok, you might say Citeh weren’t firing on all cylinders, but at the same time, it takes a decent defence to make it look like that.
Here, I thought Senderos, while not perfect, was extremely good. Baker looked decent too.
Quite simply, I thought the whole defence worked their backsides off.
That said, Man City always looked the stronger side and more likely to score.
Onto the second half then and it struck me that the Villa management had actually read the game quite well.
It was our turn to shine and we actually took the game to City.
Indeed, for around fifteen minutes, we looked the more dangerous side.
Of course, it wasn’t to last and the class quite simply told in the end, with a good strike from Toure and an even better one from Aguero.
So, the result aside, do you know the one thing that really impressed me?
We showed ambition in the way we played.
Ok, you might think we defended too much, but you have too against this sort of quality.
As much as I dislike Lambert for his pragmatic approach, I believe he called this game correctly today.
I can’t even fault his substitutions, for once.
Benteke needs minutes and I was hoping Grealish might be able to win fouls from their physically massive players.
The latter didn’t happen, but it was good experience for him.
If you can seriously worry Man City for 15 minutes, you aren’t doing too bad.
We’d have lost this one by a boatload a couple of seasons back.
I’m beginning to see the flickers of progression, but have a feeling that some won’t agree.
Whatever, we’ve lost 3 on the trot and are still seventh in the league.
Which just goes to show how good our start to the season was.
I think I’m going to get a nosebleed, with these dizzying heights.
Everton next, where we might get something.
Then some games where we’d expect points.