by Bulldog Drummond
When it comes to away form Aston Villa are one of two teams that have played two and lost two – the other is the other promoted team, Norwich. Arsenal at home have won one and drawn one.
The two highlights of Villa’s season thus far have been a home win over Everton 2-0, and a league cup victory over Crewe (1-6 away). Last time around they had a goalless draw with West Ham.
|10 Aug||Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa||L||3-1||Premier League|
|17 Aug||Aston Villa v AFC Bournemouth||L||1-2||Premier League|
|23 Aug||Aston Villa v Everton||W||2-0||Premier League|
|27 Aug||Crewe Alexandra v Aston Villa||W||1-6||League Cup|
|31 Aug||Crystal Palace v Aston Villa||L||1-0||Premier League|
|03 Sep||Salford City v Aston Villa||L||2-0||Football League Trophy|
|16 Sep||Aston Villa v West Ham United||D||0-0||Premier League|
Last season they achieved promotion by beating West Brom and Derby in the playoffs, having come fifth in the league, 13 points behind Sheffield United in the second promotion place. Indeed in their last nine games they never once scored more than two goals. But in the summer they were right at the top of the transfer spending tree having a net spend of around £146m.
Among the vast numbers of players coming and going we found
- Jota — from Birmingham City £4m
- Anwar El Ghazi — from Lille £8m
- Kortney Hause – from Wolverhampton Wanderers £3m
- Matt Targett — from Southampton £14m
- Frédéric Guilbert — from Caen £5m#
- Wesley Moraes — from Club Brugge £22m
- Tyrone Mings — from Bournemouth £26.5m
- Ezri Konsa — from Brentford £12m
- Björn Engels — from Reims £9m
- Trézéguet — from Kasimpasa £8.8m
- Douglas Luiz — from Manchester City £15m
- Tom Heaton — from Burnley £8m
- Marvelous Nakamba — from Club Brugge £11m
Prices and names come from the Guardian website. Meanwhile they also quote around 20 players as having left.
This incredible swap around of players has obviously resulted in some instability in the club – along with the adjustment up to Premier League standards, but a win, draw and defeat in the last three league games shows a certain settling down.
Last season despite getting promotion Villa were not an especially exciting away side performing some way below the top two who got the automatic promotion spots.
|5||West Bromwich Albion||23||11||4||8||34||31||3||37|
And it is noticeable that they have only scored one away goal in their two away games this season.
Looking at the bottom of the table showing both home and away form, now their aim will surely be to sneak a draw…
|16||Brighton and Hove Albion||5||1||2||2||5||8||-3||5|
… and they will of course be encouraged by the endless stream of negative publicity and reporting there is circulating about Arsenal, both in the national media and through allegedly Arsenal supporting websites.
Indeed if any motivation is needed all they will have to do is look at the media to be convinced Arsenal are utter rubbish with an incompetent manager.
Of course if this publicity is rubbing off on the Arsenal players then we are in trouble, but if it makes Villa attack a little more than they might otherwise do when playing a club suffused in positive publicity, then that could give us a few nice breaks in their defensive line. Once we have knocked in a goal they are going to have to attack even more and that could give us a chance to score more.
And besides we did quite well in the Europa game.
However this tactic also has to involve Arsenal players not getting suckered into the rampant negativity that emenates from the media morning noon and night – and that is a much harder job to arrange. I can only hope that the Arsenal psychologists are not demanding overtime payments.
And there is one little factor to note in the history of Villa’s three years in the championship… the increase in their goalscoring. In 2016/17 they scored 47. In 2017/18 they scored 83 (coming 5th) and last season 76. On the other hand last season they conceded 61 goals – quite high for a team coming up a division. Their top scorer was Tammy Abraham with 26.
I think we ought to be able to knock in one or two.
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