Written by Beanz
Over the last few weeks of the Bruce era I studiously avoided looking at the Championship league table. As we drew and lost games I knew that I would only feel anger and humiliation if I did so as we drifted slowly downwards. So yesterday on the way home from the game I was heartened to hear on the radio that we are only three points off sixth and eight off automatic promotion.
Top six should be easily in reach and top two possible this far from the end of the season if only because there doesn’t seem to be an outstanding team or teams who will break away. If Dean Smith can get Villa playing in a similar style to his previous charges then we could become the form team in the second half of the season. And once momentum is generated and the fans get behind the team then almost anything is possible as Cardiff demonstrated last season.
However, it’s a big if with an unbalanced squad who are not accustomed to playing the sort of sophisticated football that Brentford in particular have managed. And yesterday showed again that it will take time to eradicate the numerous weaknesses in the style and personnel, in fact it was a bit like a typical Bruce game – dominance for a period during which the team was wasteful and then surrendering the initiative and looking vulnerable. Fortunately Nyland decided to earn his wages, though I feel little confidence in him, and none of the many other things that can go wrong did so on the day. Swansea were unimpressive and the next two games will be sterner tests but I did sense a ‘new manager bounce’ and a willingness to press further up the pitch which can only be a good thing.
I’m really looking forward to my trip to QPR on Friday with my sons and grandson now!