It’s a bit of an oxymoron but winning ugly really is a beautiful thing, as bizarre as it may sound.
As a long-suffering Aston Villa fan, I have been, like many, starved of the elation of leaving grounds victorious in recent times. Under Steve Bruce, that is slowly changing. It is to his credit that the Villans have suffered only one defeat to date on his watch.
On Saturday, we took on Wigan Athletic. The game was a dull affair, involving the type of football fans had come to expect at Villa Park not so long ago. Relatively recently, it would have been exactly the sort of game the hosts would have lost or watched the clock run down on a bore draw.
Some fans will always preach about playing attacking and attractive football. To me, that really doesn’t matter one bit as long as we are winning games or at least seeing the labour bear fruit.
Our players do look lacklustre on the front foot at times and that should be a little bit of a concern. Overall, I would rather be winning by one goal margins than be playing attractive football and not earning any points.
I think we have to have patience home and away under Steve Bruce. Many will point to the frustration that built against Wigan Athletic on Saturday as a sign of things to come if the Villans continue to hold back; I don’t see it that way.
When you have flair players such as Jack Grealish, Jonathan Kodjia and Jordan Ayew in your side, you will always have natural moments of attractive football and that is enough at the moment. Jack Grealish’s goal on Saturday lit up an average game – and that has been the case on many occasions recently.
Furthermore, when we have had such a shaky defence for so many years, it is great to see us pick up clean sheets and look more commanding.
Some will say we should be attacking with the side we have but I believe our midfield is far too lightweight to be doing just that. The way we play suits the current crop of players and, until January, it is the best way for us to go forward.
At the moment this still isn’t a Steve Bruce side. Let’s not forget that he knows what he is doing when it comes to getting sides out of the Championship. Pretty football wins no prizes. Points do. Bruce and the boys are on a good run of form, winning five of our last ten games, scoring twelve goals and picking up eighteen points.
It is clear that unattractive football and rugged wins work for us.
Forget tiki-taka or any other esteemed method of playing football. We’re in the wrong division and need to get out of it before we find ourselves falling into the Championship black hole that has swallowed up so many sides.
The goals our players have been scoring have been of a very good level despite the dull moments we have to endure, especially at home.
Let’s worry about the ‘Aston Villa way’ when we’re in a stronger position. I look forward to many more beautiful wins and do not care if they come as a result of ugly and unconventional football.