The Premier League is back and with it came a positive start for Tim Sherwood and Aston Villa Football Club. Rudy Gestede’s late header was enough to earn a victory over A.F.C. Bournemouth and there were plenty of positives to take from the game. Winning the first game doesn’t always guarantee a successful season but the manner of the victory over the Cherries will act as a confidence booster for players and supporters going into the mouth-watering clash with Manchester United on Friday night.
Saturday’s victory was one full of resilience and determination that was typified by the central defensive pairing of Micah Richards and Ciaran Clark, who led the way to ensure that the three points returned to B6 and that Brad Guzan’s clean sheet remained intact. It was an excellent defensive team display and, despite a few hairy moments in the first half when the hosts should have scored, the Villans played the second half with much greater control and limited the Cherries to very few chances.
The biggest positive from the game was without doubt the impact that second half substitute Rudy Gestede had: he was able to galvanise both players and supporters before landing the decisive blow that separated the two sides. Gestede could become a hero at Villa Park if he carries on in this vein of form and he certainly appeared to show the enthusiasm and desire that supporters love to see. Jordan Amavi impressed with his strong defending and attacking intent and hopefully he can be the man to finally fill the troublesome left back position whilst Idrissa Gueye showed promising signs, particularly in the second half. Jordan Veretout and Jordan Ayew will need time to settle in and adapt to the pace of the Premier League, although the latter was played slightly out of position on the right of the front three.
Stiffer tests of this new-look Villa side will come but the signs from the opening game of the season are positive and have given us hope and excitement for the rest of the campaign. A couple of new signings and the return of Carles Gil and Jack Grealish will add further depth and creativity to the squad as competition for places really heats up. The first home win over Manchester United in twenty years would be a massive boost to everyone of a claret and blue persuasion and add further hope that the dark days of the Lambert era are well and truly behind us.