It’s been an impressive start to the 2014-15 season for Aston Villa Football Club. I am sure that the majority of Villans will be very pleased with the seven points out of a possible nine that the players have earned from the first three games of the season. We’ve started off well and have set ourselves up nicely to head into the next set of fixtures after the international break.
There is no doubt about it: this set of fixtures is a tough one, especially in comparison to the first three matches we’ve had. The first game back after the international break is a tough trip up to Anfield, which will be the first big test for the team. Two seasons ago, Villa had a brilliant 3-1 win against Liverpool at Anfield and last season the boys in claret and blue were unlucky not to win after a debatable penalty decision was made and led to the reds’ late equaliser, bringing the game to 2-2.
The Lions then return to Villa Park to face the current FA Cup holders, and title contenders this season, Arsenal. The Gunners are also able to boast that they have three World Cup winners in their side in Mertesacker, Özil and Podolski. They have also strengthened this summer by bringing in big name signing Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona along with youngster Calum Chambers, who has made an impressive start to life in North London, from Southampton.
The Villans then face another tough match against what is arguably an even stronger London side. Chelsea pose a serious title threat this season and their players have proven to be extremely clinical in front of goal. This was clear for all to see as new blue Diego Costa ran riot at Goodison Park not so long ago in Chelsea’s 3-6 victory over Everton. However, we have proven to be something of a ‘bogey’ side for Chelsea during Jose Mourinho’s reign; last season’s impressive Villa Park win comes to mind.
Having these three games in a row is hard enough but we then face the reigning Premier League champions Manchester City. When facing the sky blues last season, the Villans were ‘consistently inconsistent’, winning 3-2 at home but suffering a heavy 4-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium.
Ignoring our daunting run, Lambert’s Villa side is certainly looking better than it has looked for some time and the players’ impressive start and the team’s current place league position is testament to the improvements the manager has brought about. Hopefully, we can take all the positives from the opening three games into the next stage of the season and build on a successful start rather than crumble under pressure.