Striking When The Irons Are Cold

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Tuesday 27th November at 8:00PM against Reading – this was the last time home supporters saw Aston Villa win in the Premier League beating The Royals 1-0 in front of 28,692 fans.

Life in the Villa Park garden hasn’t been so rosy for home support. Villa fans have seen their side draw against Stoke and lose to the likes of  Tottenham Hotspur, Wigan Athletic, Southampton, Bradford City (in the League Cup) and Newcastle United. No doubt, with results going Villa’s way apart from from the 3-1 victory Southampton produced against champions Manchester City, Villa fans needed a win more than ever to push towards Premier League survival.

Villa legends Shaun Teale and Steve Froggatt had this to say regarding Villa’s performance against The Hammers:

Let’s start with the team selection. The only real surprise was young Jordan Bowery playing right side midfield, personally I thought the young lad looked out of his depth but in his favour is the fact he is a centre forward.

Villa started brightly 3mins in and Weimann misses a sitter that really sums up the first half for me. Too many players went missing Weimann, N’Zogbia, Benteke and Bowery.

The second half started and we seemed to do our normal thing and started really poorly letting what I would consider one of the worst first half performances from an away side at Villa Park in a long time go to waste and we continued to give away stupid corners and let them create pressure on us.

We eventually regain our grip and finally get the break through N’Zogbia who had a great 10 minutes and scores with a great free-kick, then Westwood is unfortunate to concede that own goal with 5 minutes to go, which creates panic and we probably would have conceded another if it wasn’t for Guzan.

Overall we deserved the win, but we still have big problems defensively. We looked slightly better, but still don’t attack the ball in midfield. We don’t play with enough drive but having said that Delph had his best game for a while. Up front is a problem for me, Benteke had a quiet day, Weimann had a disastrous day, we missed Gabby and as for Bent, yes, he kicked one off the line in the second half but going forward, he contributed nothing.

Quotes: Shaun Teale

I thought Villa’s performance was very brave against West Ham under enormous pressure. I stuck my neck out a couple of weeks ago and said they would stay up and I still believe that. Baker looked stronger at left back and gave the team added height and strength at set pieces and corners, Delph is growing with each game and N’zogbia is looking like the quality player we signed adding some consistency at last to his game.

The first half was very scrappy although Villa were trying to play football in miserable conditions. Second half you could sense the enormous relief around Villa Park after Benteke put the penalty away and N’zogbia’s free kick was pure quality. The last few minutes were very nervy after we conceded, but overall we definitely deserved the 3 points.

We are still in a relegation scrap with tough games at Arsenal and Man City to come, but at least the Villa faithful can believe that we’ll be playing top flight football next term.

Quotes: Steve Froggatt

We asked a few of other followers on Twitter to post their comments about the victory as well. Here are a selection of them:

Omar Iqbal ‏(@Omariqy) as Lambert said, it doesn’t matter how we win but that we win. Heart shown today and some big performances

David Little ‏(@David_T_Little) showed tremendous character especially after the early miss. Dug deep the last 10 mins to hang on for the victory !

Nigel Hollier ‏(@NigelHollier) win long overdue. Some of our play was excellent considering the pressure on the game. N’Zogbia was great all day.

Let’s have your thoughts on Villa’s victory. Can the Lions rise from the pit and secure their Premier League status for another year?

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