Aston Villa enjoyed a very decent November in which we picked up a total of 12 points but everyone always knew that the Festive period would tell us exactly where we were as a club.
Expectations were pretty high as we moved into the festive period despite us knowing that fixtures against the likes of Derby County and Sheffield United wouldn’t be easy. Fans have always wanted automatic promotion so beating sides in and around us are vital.
Our first game of the month came against a decent Leeds United side, where we came from a goal behind and left Elland Road with a point. I think the majority of us would have taken the result beforehand but after a dominating second half, some believed we should have come away with all three points.
Henri Lansbury and Jack Grealish really shone when they came off the bench and this also excited the Villa fans as it looked like we could get some more creativity in midfield.
The second game of the festive period was against Millwall at Villa Park. Approaching the game we all thought we would come away with maximum points but the away side had very different ideas. They came to Villa Park and frustrated the home side and executed their game plan to perfection, leaving with a share of the points. The performance simply wasn’t good enough and we probably escaped a nasty shock.
Although we only picked up 2 points from a possible 6 in December, we were still undefeated. Next up, Derby County.
They were high in confidence and when it was revealed that former Villan, Andreas Weiman was starting, we just knew it was written in the stars. He scored the opener in a 2-0 defeat following a woeful mistake by Glenn Whelan.
Our first defeat of the month and just two points from a possible nine of the festive period so far.
Next up for Steve Bruce’s men was an out of form Sheffield United at Villa Park. Villa started bright and we cruised into a 2-0 lead inside 10 minutes. The home side is the architects of their own downfall and errors cost them all three points. Bad positioning from Mile Jedinak enabled former Birmingham striker, Clayton Donaldson to chip Sam Johnstone to pull a goal back.
Then another mistake from the Australian allowed Donaldson through to score his second and throw away a two-goal lead – inside the opening 25 minutes of the game. For those lucky enough to watch on the television – a cracking game but more points lost for those supporting in Claret and Blue.
Brentford was next up on Boxing day (last night) and we always knew it would be a very difficult game against a side who have dominated us everytime we have faced them over the past two seasons. I won’t go into this one too much as you would have probably already read the match report and the result is still quite fresh.
Villa has picked up just three points from a possible fifteen over the festive period. A period that both the fans and the management believed would be important. We are sinking without a trace and something needs to be done.
More and more fans are calling for the managers head. Middlesbrough sacked Garry Monk and now find themselves above us in the league table. Is a change needed or is stability more important?
Either way, we are just fans and we will have to wait to see what the future holds. In the meantime, I hope you had a great Christmas and have a fantastic New Year.