Oh I must say, I do so like winning. I`ve said before, we really should do it more, it feels so nice! And now they are!!!
Three things we learned from the Sheffield United 0-1 Aston Villa match at Bramall Lane last night.
1) Not all matches are going to be pretty
Some fans are saying we were awful last night (although obviously they are happy with the result). I didn`t think we were awful at all. Sheffield United do play a certain way, they never give the opposition a second on the ball and they are very physical. It seems to work well for them and they obviously presented challenges for our team.
I think what some are missing is we played as a unit. We soaked up a lot of pressure and Sam Johnstone was outstanding (see point 2!). A few have said we`d have lost if not for his saves. Well, err, yes? He is one of our players, part of the unit. We`d also not have won if not for the goal by Snoddy, or if the team coach had broken down and we didn`t make it to the game. It`s a team game, he was part of the reason we won.
The great thing about that win was it was so hard fought, can you imagine in the two or three seasons before that coming out with a win? No chance, we`d have capitulated. The change now is the players are playing as a unit, not individuals. It was lovely for the away fans to get the delight of a last minute goal as well.
Remember Manchester United grinding out results one week and playing wonderful football the next? Did you ever hear Sir Alex Chewalot bemoaning the wins whichever way they were earned? Nope. (No, I`m not saying we are Man Utd, but they had the nice habit of winning come what may, looks like we`ve started to pick that habit up)
2) Sam Johnstone
THE player we have to sign if we go up. Sadly, I do fear we`d have no chance of keeping him if we don`t get promotion. I think there will be a queue of clubs now looking and with Manchester United taking the option on him, they can command a fee. He has already been linked to WBA but he can do better than that, Aston Villa if promoted for a start!
Future England Number One? Won`t be too far in the future in my humble, all he needs to work on is commanding his area a little more, there was an incident last night where he should have shouted for the ball but left Elmo (I think, forgive my memory) was forced to kick it out for a corner to the Blades).
If we end up being able to buy him, it really will have been an outstanding loan (and coming from me, with my loathing of loans, that says a lot!)
3) Some of our players need to look up a bit more before passing?
The only gripe, too many players last night got in good positions and then didn`t look up, they just crossed into no-mans land. That left Scotty Hogan with no service at all. Not knocking the players, especially Uncle Albert Adomah because he`s been excellent for us (albeit a little bit of a patch at the moment where he needs to re-find his spark) but him and Elmo a few times lost us possession very cheaply. Allan Hutton also, amongst others. Conor Hourihane also needs to have a little look at his contribution and think what he could do to give more to the team effort.
It`s a minor gripe, we won, but once they are in good positions to cross, it is a shame to see the ball wasted quite so regulary.
Oh and what we learned about Sheffield United? Their manager, Chris Wilder, is a gent. He didn`t whinge and whine about the loss, he gave credit to his players and their efforts but also congratulated the Aston Villa. Refreshing Change As Sheffield United Manager Praises The Opposition. Quite rightly, he said he was playing v top end Championship and some of our players aren`t strangers to the Premiership. He said they were unlucky hitting the bar and having pulled some great saves from Johnstone. But also congratulated Steve Bruce and his team and very nicely said you could see what the win meant to them all judging by their reactions. He didn`t take offense at the reactions, he said it wasn`t inappropriate or cynical, it was a compliment that they knew what a big win it was against a good team.
villareport (@villareport) January 30, 2018
So come on, tell us in the forum or article comments, what were your three (or any number for that matter!) things you learned?
Holiday for Ross… Permanent vacation perhaps?! (good album that!)https://t.co/vFPnIS5Frw
Vital Villa (@VitalVilla) January 30, 2018
our CEO slates the fair play rules, I concur… Thoughts!?https://t.co/KJq1oqWfso
Vital Villa (@VitalVilla) January 30, 2018