Yet another week of Championship football has passed and it has been yet another week of mediocrity for Aston Villa. For the Villa supporters, it’s been yet another week of disappointment as the long wait for an away win continues. There are, however, some positives to take from the week that was. By some, I actually mean very few but, if you look hard enough, you can dig them out.
In all honesty, it does feels though I’m somewhat clutching at straws here but the biggest positive of the week for me was the final half an hour of play against Newcastle United last weekend. Thirty minutes of positive play in a week which has seen the Championship side play a total of one hundred and eighty minutes is nothing to write home about.
After a first half performance that was reminiscent of last season, many fans felt frustrated and angered. Unfortunately, things failed to improve after the break and tensions were beginning to flare…
Step up Aaron Tshibola. The midfielder completely changed the game. From the hour mark onwards, the Villans finally kicked into gear and began looking like the side we all know they have the potential to be. If you’d have just started watching from this point you’d have thought we were in the FA Cup final. We saw Jedinak’s goal ruled out for offside, Jordan Ayew hit the post and, most notably, a Tshibola equaliser.
Leaving that match, most had been given a renewed sense of optimism when looking forward to the Barnsley game. We all how short lived that optimism was.
While I’m on the topic of the Barnsley game, it was nice to finally see Jordan Ayew get off the mark in the league this season with a great individual effort.
Well, we all know how this is going to go – yet again, as supporters of Aston Villa, we have been served up yet more dross. The showing against Newcastle United was diabolical for the majority of the match. Words are failing me in my bid to describe just how bad we were, especially in the first half.
Another familiar story to Villa fans is the one about conceding late goals. Heading into the last ten minutes against Barnsley with a 0-1 lead, we all knew what was coming – the inevitable late equaliser. What is happening to us that we constantly crumble in the dying embers of the game? Is it a mentality issue that means the side just can’t see a game out? Please feel free to tell me as I’m at a loss as to what the cause of this problem could be. One thing I do know is that it is time to stop this rot. If we don’t stop it soon it’ll haunt us all season and be our biggest downfall, if it’s not already.
This afternoon, we make a trip to Preston North End, where we’ll be reunited with two Aston Villa academy graduates – Callum Robinson and Daniel Johnson. Here’s hoping the former Villans don’t come back to haunt us and that we’ll come away with all three points having waited one year, one month and twenty-four days to see an away win.