There were a lot of pleasing things about our win at Loftus Road. First and foremost, we were the better team right from the start of the game. We played on the front foot away from home, which was very enjoyable to watch. We finally broke the ‘Sky Sports curse’ which has been in place since 2014 and in the process gained only our second away win of the season in a tricky place to get all three points.
I want to focus on our goal-scorer, however, and how good he was for the entire match. Honestly, I thought Kodjia’s finish for the goal was very poor. It was virtually straight at Smithies, who made his only mistake of the match to give us the goal that we certainly deserved.
What impressed me most was how Kodija responded to his penalty miss. His work to gain the spot kick was superb but after his tame effort he didn’t stop making runs or let his head drop. He was a constant threat for us, as he often has been this season, and he thoroughly warranted the piece of luck he was given for the goal.
Kodjia is a rare breed of footballer – a striker who can hold the ball up well but who is also quick and extremely skillful. This combination makes him an absolute nightmare for defenders and I have no doubt that we have a Premier League striker currently playing for us. Our side will certainly struggle when he leaves us for the Africa Cup of Nations and one of the other forwards at the club will have to step up and become our primary goal-scorer in his absence.
Maybe this will mean that Ross McCormack finally becomes the goal-scorer that we know he has been elsewhere. I do feel sorry for him: everyone knows that he is a good player, although it just hasn’t quite clicked for him just yet at Villa. I think it could go either way: the goals could come or he might have to move on in search of more game time. I would love for him to stay and find some form.
Right now, no-one can argue that we don’t possess one of the best goal-scorers that the Championship has to offer. Kodjia is supremely talented and, if he can keep scoring, could become vital in our potential push for the play-offs. Let’s hope that his goal-scoring can continue in 2017 – and beyond.