I'm a literature graduate, prone to being opinionated about anything and everything, but most likely to be found espousing my thoughts on Films, Football (Soccer for my American and Australian friends and readers) and books.
As we enter remembrance weekend, it’s important to remember those of the Villa family who serve and have served in our armed forces. Perhaps most poignantly we acknowledge those who served in the war which began our remembrance tradition. These men were often in the prime of their careers, yet volunteered to serve selflessly.
Some players continued to achieve as footballers after the end of the war. Some were never the same again, and some never returned at all. Today we remember them.
After Friday night’s disappointing defeat to Leeds United, Aston Villa’s impressive 100% winning start to the Premier League season was brought to an end in fairly emphatic fashion. What matters now is what Villa do next and how they react to that disappointment.
Iain Dowie once popularised a term when discussing a crucial component of his promotion chasing Crystal Palace team; “bouncebackability”. Simply put, to achieve success, a team needs to show the ability to react positively to any setbacks.
Monday 8th March 2020. The night of our last visit to Leicester and the King Power Stadium. It was a miserable trip, a humiliating 4-0 defeat against a side we’d fought hard to beat over 2 legs a month earlier in the Carabao Cup Semi-finals. Little did we know, it would also mark the final time we’d be allowed inside stadiums for the foreseeable future. All in all, not a fond memory.
For the first time in two decades, Villa have opened a Premier League campaign with consecutive wins, keeping two clean sheets in the process. Considering it took us 8 games to reach the same points total last season, the bright start has been enough to start spreading the belief amongst the fans that we might well be in for a much more positive season.
Whilst the victories have come against a Sheffield United team who have yet to find last season’s levels and a Fulham side who already look a little hapless, especially defensively, it’s still been enjoyable watching us play with greater confidence and even a little swagger. Nevertheless, the visit of defending champions Liverpool will be the real litmus test as to just how much we’ve progressed.
After last season’s journey to the League Cup Final and given that it was the last major trophy we won – albeit nearly a quarter of a century ago – Villa have something of an affinity with the competition we were inaugural winners of back in 1961.
After vanquishing League One Burton Albion in the second round last week, we’re straight back into action in the third round tonight against Championship side Bristol City.