Date: 27th December 2007 at 4:29pm
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Villa are back, wow, Villa are back

I had a feeling before Christmas that we could win all the holiday fixtures, even at Chelsea, and whilst I was very disappointed in the Man City game, as I thought better use of tactics may have got the required result, the team still showed enough to have won the game.

Against Chelsea I listened to Collymore in his own in fight with the biased BBC commentators and a Villa side in supremacy at one of the top clubs in the UK.In the end we drew 4-4 against 11, then 10, then 9 men, an awful ref and a home crowd, but we won.

In fact we won more than just the match, we won over the media, as anyone scanning the papers today will see, we won over the TV as anyone watching the and listening to any sports report will see. Aston Villa are back and how. Credit has to go to O’Neill for the way he has built in a resilience that even when its suffered a bad penalty and sending off decision, two bad defensive errors to go from 2-0 up to 3-2, it still finds it within itself to come back, only to be knocked back again.

Then when luck did favour us, after one of the best dives I’ve seen out of a swimming pool, one of the worst tackles ever on a football pitch, and an awful sending off decision had suggested maybe the rub of the green wasn’t ours, we gained that vital 4th goal.

4 goals at Chelsea, and morally their first defeat in 70 odd games what an achievement.

OK we were far from perfect, there is still plenty needing putting right but Aston Villa are back. That little insignificant club, run by an idiot whose only claim to fame was the way he gave us defeat from the face of victory, has gone, what we have now is a team everyone will be looking out for, a team in need of some surgery yes, but a team who everyone now knows can give anyone a game. Some players need to believe it more, but O’Neill has certainly built a desire to fight to the death when needed.

There are plenty of areas still needing improvement, but as Barry showed when he stepped up to take that penalty, the belief is there, the ability in some, is there, everyone of those players deserved no less than a 9. Not because they were all great they weren’t, but because they were part of a famous Villa battle, and as any long term fan knows Villa teams don’t need to win the game to win the match. We’ve been known to lose Cup finals and win, ask Spurs, we’ve been known to lose great matches and win, ask Utd, ask Arsenal.

Saturday was one such time, Aston Villa are back, what more can you ask? OK a win against Wigan.