The Win Over QPR Proves Villa Are A Club United
I’ve shouted myself hoarse, bit my nails off, pulled my hair out and have an a**e like a blood orange, that is how monumental yesterday afternoon at Villa Park was. Our young lions were trying to do something no Aston Villa team have done since 2011 - win back to back Premier League games. And despite riding our luck and hanging on at the end of both games they did it.
These two games have been on the minds of Villa fans for weeks now, matches against Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United were all but written off, but Reading and QPR stuck out like a naked Pope in the run in fixture list.
And we’ve scored five goals in two games, two by a much maligned local boy called Gabby. There are consistent complaints he can’t fill the net as well as he fills prams but he is our only striker in decades who consistently scores in big games.
United, Arsenal, City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Blues, Gabby has scored against them all. We have a history of strikers who score great goals when we are two up against rubbish teams but go missing in the big games.
Gabby’s re-emergence this week has taken the burden off our beast Benteke, who has also weighed in with two goals in two games and is rightly being hailed as the signing of the season. Throw in the tireless Weimann and we have a front three who will give any defence a headache.
I cannot remember the last time Villa, or any team for that matter, played three up front and all three scored. These three amigos will keep us up, and with N'Zogbia creating chances behind them and hopefully the return of Fabian Delph, who was the man of the match against Manchester City before getting booked and suspended, we will have the needed bite in midfield.
Our weak point is the defence, and for the first time in yonks none of our defenders produced a howler that led to a goal. Nathan Baker being replaced by the hapless Bennett was a worrying moment but somehow we survived five of the longest minutes in history to get three points.
Our last line of defence though has been a joy to watch this season, Guzan has stepped out of the badly positioned shadow of Shay Given to become a fantastic top level keeper. A montage of saves just in the last two games deserve a lovingly tendered YouTube video.
The atmosphere in the ground was the best for a league game in years, everyone was behind the team, there was not a moaning booer in earshot.
A good relegation battle sharpens the mind creating big matches at the business end of the season. Aston Villa don’t own an oil field or sell a million shirts abroad so we will never have the intensity of a title run so a relegation dogfight provides the nerve-shredding moments which football is all about.
We are finally a club united behind the team and manager and though not out of the woods yet, our young team are on course to achieve a remarkable feat to stay in a multi-million pound league of men.