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Dave Woodhall’s Villa Blog



After a rip-roaring 4-4 draw at Chelsea, Villa move into the New Year period with a game against Steve Bruce’s Wigan side. Dave Woodhall can’t decide if the glass is half-full or half-empty.

Thing are looking grim for the Villa. Three points from five games is relegation form, and with our annual mid-season slump well underway I can’t see anything but gloom and despondency for the rest of the Christmas period.

Or alternatively, things are looking pretty well perfect. Those five games might not have produced many points, but they’ve given us the two best games of the season, plus a few valuable lessons. We’ve seen that the Villa can play exciting football, can battle when they need to and more than anything, they aren’t overawed by the thought of playing the big boys anymore.

Boxing Day’s match with Chelsea was an absolute classic, and today we have a different kind of challenge at Wigan. They’re the sort of battling, all-for-one outfit we’ve struggled against in the past so a win oop there would be a valuable one. Then there’s Spurs on New Year’s Day.

For reasons I’ve never understood, this is always one of the biggest games of the season at Villa Park so there should be a full house, or near to one, to watch us play the most pretentious club on the planet. They’re back in form, and this promises to be another great match.

Which leads us nicely into January, and the opening of the transfer window. Just for once I’d like Martin O’Neill to do his shopping before the PA announces that the shop will be closing in ten minutes and could customers please make their way to the check-outs. The world and his wife knows we need a right-back, and the way Martin didn’t bring one in during the summer makes me wonder if he hasn’t got a deal sorted already.

We could also do with a right-winger (I still use the old-fashioned phrases rather than all this ‘wide midfielder’ nonsense). Give me the choice and I’d offer Newcastle a big enough wedge to bring James Milner back. The thought of him and Ashley Young marauding down the wings would worry a few defences.

And then it’s the FA Cup. It is, of course, our year for the FA Cup.

To be continued.

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