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Dave’s Villa Blog



Villa’s win on Saturday cements them into the top four. Dave Woodhall wonders what the management are playing at.

Another game, another three points. That makes four straight league wins, without a goal conceded, and a place in the League Cup semi-final thrown in. The opening day defeat by Wigan seems a long time ago.

Saturday’s victory against Stoke confirmed a couple of Great Footballing Cliches. When you’re doing well you get the rub of the green – on another day Stoke’s disallowed goal could easily have counted. And a team who don’t play well but still win is a team who are doing very well indeed.

It wasn’t a vintage Villa performance. Too many players had off-days and the game matched the temperature. It was a forgettable, week before Christmas, occasion and those who stayed at home didn’t miss a lot.

But, we got another win and that’s the main thing. Most of the teams around us also dropped points and we’re looking a difficult team to beat, or even score goals against.

Richard Dunne is proving one of the most astute buys if the summer while Carlos Cuellar is finally looking like the player we signed last season. The difference between last season’s fade-out and this time round was summed up against Stoke. Last year they scored twice to get a point; on Saturday they were kept quiet.

There is one minor niggling doubt, though. Martin O’Neill was right when he said the team looked tired, which is why it’s disappointing to hear stories that he doesn’t intend to sign anyone in January. We’re still a couple of players short, and injuries or loss of form could affect us as they did a year ago.

But, as we should know by now, whenever Martin does something you don’t understand, it usually means he’s going to be proved right. I can’t work out whether he’s very lucky, or a genius.

Or which is the most important.



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