Season 2021/2022, The New Era Begins at Villa Park

The performance last Saturday at Villa Park, a resounding 3-0 defeat of Everton, was the confirmation that the “life after Jack” era had begun, and our Villans are on their way upwards.

Not so fast, doubters might say! It was a weakened Everton squad. The score line flattered us. Indeed, we were tentative in the first half and our fans were getting restless. That’s because this is a process and all the pieces are not yet in-synch. How can they be when we have yet to be able to put out our strongest formation thanks to injuries and lack of match fitness?

Despite that, we stretched Chelsea, arguably the Premier League’s team to beat and disposed of an unbeaten Everton while limiting them to one shot on goal. In fact, we can stay sanguine about brilliant Leon Bailey being sidelined for a few weeks, Emi Buendia being sub-par after the drama in Brazil, and John McGinn getting over his head-banger.

We’re reaching par with the elite teams in that we now have the depth of star players and exciting academy prospects maturing before our eyes! Facing the daunting Man U this Saturday, we will still have one of the world’s best shot-stoppers in Emi Martinez, a rock solid backline, wingbacks who can score as well as whip great crosses into the box, a midfield trio in which Douglas Luiz has come back from the international break playing at another (samba style) level of confidence and maturity, and, potentially, the most potent striker duo of Watkins and Ings ready to take off.

Of course, Man U will have a lot to say about how we fare and they are an excellent team who got better by acquiring Ronaldo. Recent trips to Old Trafford had us threatening to win, only to beat ourselves with unnecessary penalties.

Count on this Villa team to have learned that lesson and be able to put a couple of goals past de Gea. That said, we’ll still have to keep Ronaldo, Fernandes, and Greenwood at bay if we’re to bring home some points! UTV!

Pre-game Assessments

Game Reports

AVFC Women’s Team