We all know we’ve made a poor start to the season, but Stoke’s is equally as bad, given that they’ve played four games at home and three away.
We’ve played three at home and four away and if we can get the win tomorrow, we’ll go a point above them.
And points is all it’s about really isn’t it?
I’ve said that I’m not panicking just yet and I believe we’ve played better than the points we’ve amassed, but the very valid point has been made that we don’t want to be cut adrift this early on and frankly, we need to pull our finger’s out.
We have two tough games coming up, in Chelsea away and Swansea at home, so we really could do with all three points.
I’ve not looked at the league table much up to now, but it’s pretty apparent where our problems lie.
We’ve scored eight goals (I really thought it was more), which isn’t desperate and certainly much better than a large part of last season, but we’ve conceded twelve, which is worse than many around us.
Er, so it’s the defence, basically, isn’t it?
Ok, I’m stating the bleeding obvious aren’t I?
Squad news then and what might be good for us is that Stoke’s record signing, Xherdan Shaqiri is 50-50 and faces a late test on a thigh injury and Ryan Shawcross is still out after surgery on his back.
As for the Villa, I’ve read that Gary Gardner is back in contention, but I can’t see him getting a game.
Jores Okore is still unavailable and Gabby is doubtful with his calf injury. I’m sure you all know my feelings on the latter.
The worrying thing is that Stoke have a very decent record at Villa Park recently and the last game was pretty much thrown away by some reckless defending by Ron Vlaar, as I’m sure many of us will remember.
We don’t seem to have moved on much defence-wise do we? and I’ll bet you know where I’m going.
We have to cut out the stupid mistakes at the back; it’s as simple as that.
And if we can manage it, I believe we’re well capable of causing Stoke problems and I’m going for a 2-1 victory.
As for the banners, the Football Supporters Federation have arranged a protest day, aimed at reducing ticket prices for away fans.
And while I don’t know if the following is true, a story I’ve read confirms it. It seems that Aston Villa are the only Premier league club that are not going to allow protest banners.
This is really poor on the club’s part and so much for freedom of speech eh?
I think it’s disgusting that paying customers/consumers (that’s all we are nowadays) can’t show their opinions and there’s a word that describes people who suppress opinions being voiced, although I won’t bring myself to say it.
Villa do some good things and being at the forefront of the safe standing idea, is just an example; although the cynic in me might think that the club’s hierarchy just see that as a very cheap way of increasing our capacity to 50,000.
But banning banners is just pathetic, in my opinion.
I’ve stuck a poll in so you can let us know what you think the result will be.[polldaddy poll=9106665]