Well, that’s just sod’s law isn’t it?
I’ve hardly missed watching any games this season, but tonight I was so busy at work that I didn’t get to see a minute of it.
So what do the Villa go and do?
Well, after waiting since the Blues game, they only go and actually win don’t they?
Which had me kicking myself, as I suspect the feeling of elation would have been much higher when the final whistle went, compared to just reading the result on Yahoo.
As for my prediction in the preview, where I was all doom and gloom, I’m extremely happy to say I got that totally wrong. But I’d be happy to be wrong every game if it meant a Villa win.
Moving quickly on (ahem), it was interesting to see that Garde made a couple of changes, the biggest surprise perhaps being Libor Kozak getting a start ahead of Gestede. Well, perhaps not a surprise as such, as many fans have been calling for him to at least be given a chance.
But the better news is that from what I’ve read, he put in a very decent display.
Now I know nothing about how we set up tonight, but it’s struck me that Gestede is impotent if you don’t put the ball on his head and Kozak, with his better all-round game has to better suited to the way we play.
I look forward to seeing him play a full game myself.
Another surprise to me was Richards not starting.
I was under the impression that he was fit after his knock and I wonder if this was more about taking him out of the line of fire, as surely he’s a better bet than Bacuna at RB, generally speaking?
Good management perhaps, as long as the player and manager haven’t had any contretemps.
Guzan being rested for Bunn, however, was not a surprise.
An interesting point was Gil getting practically a full game. That doesn’t quite make sense to me after suggestions that he needed to be pulled off early against Wycombe, because he was fading.
I’d have thought a player can either play a full game or he can’t.
So what’s changed in a couple of days?
No doubt it comes down to what the manager thinks and perhaps it was merely a case that he thought Gil might struggle to complete two full games in such a short time, which I suppose is fair enough. Today’s game was far more important, after all.
Whatever, I’m not knocking anything. I don’t care who gets hauled off when, as long as it brings the right result.
And either way, it’s a sign that Gil’s fitness is improving.
Although why I should even be talking about that halfway through the season, begs other questions, that have often been asked already.
You’d have to suspect that Kozak and Bunn (if he did nothing wrong) will probably feature in the next few games.
And rightly so, as if anyone looks better than the player he’s replacing, he has to stay in the team because we can’t afford any favourites.
Again from what I’ve read, it seems we played a 4-3-3 and Garde’s after match comments were that he was happy because we didn’t sit back and actually went for the second goal.
Which hints that he’s been trying to get the team to go forward more and it’s actually the players themselves who have been too negative (remember Garde’s “they’re not doing as they’re told” comment?).
If that’s the case, I may owe him an apology, as I’ve criticised him as the cause of our overly cautious way of playing.
And if that’s the case, maybe today’s result might actually inspire the lads to actually believe we can beat teams?
If so, that’d be superb.
Yes, it’s only one win, but doesn’t it suddenly make things look a lot brighter?
And ok, it was apparently a lucky goal. But how much bad luck have we had?
We’re still in serious trouble of course, but for the first time in ages, we’ve actually closed the gap on teams and that has to be a good thing.
The best news of all though tonight was
Glenn Alan Pardew’s (yes, I realised after I wrote the preview that I got his name wrong) words about the Villa;
“Villa really deserved their victory – they worked so, so hard.”
After the criticism we’ve all been dishing out about the players not wanting it enough, this was just music to my ears. Or should that be my eyes, given that I read it?
Well, you know what I mean, I’m sure.
Happy days, for once.