Many thanks to James Rushton from 7500 to Holte for answering our questions before today’s match. Check them out for great coverage of Aston Villa, a team that looks like their playoff dreams are going to come true.
I also answered their questions as well, so if you want to see what I had to say about this match from a Leeds perspective, go ahead and check it out. Spoiler Alert: I wasn’t positive.
1. How has the season gone since we last met?
Despite an excellent start to 2018, it’s been much of a muchness. Aston Villa have taken the game to plenty of teams, and come up with resounding and inspirational wins to put a lot of points on the board, and the team themselves have altered the dynamics of the promotion battle, but still - these come capped off with negative results that have all but crushed our hopes of automatic promotion. We’re seeing Jack Grealish come into his own and change games after his first game of the season against Leeds United and he’s evolved ten-fold since then. So yeah, expect a new, more confident Villa.
2. What has gone right for Aston Villa this season after missing out on the playoffs last season?
We have a team now rather than a collection of individuals. The addition of some key characters like John Terry and Robert Snodgrass have been the catalyst of a mostly productive season in the second tier of English league football. We have the intangibles needed to win games, and really struggle through. We’ve done a lot better than last season, which was mostly terrible.
I’ll tell you what the best thing is, the fact that we’re scoring goals around the park. We had to rely on Jonathan Kodjia to avoid getting relegated (again) last season, we’d have missed his goals. We didn’t miss them that much this season because Conor Hourihane, Albert Adomah and Robert Snodgrass have chipped in. It’s not up to the standards of Wolves and Cardiff, but the fact that we aren’t a one-man team anymore is delightful.
3. Does Steve Bruce have the faith of the fans?
I guess? He’s shown his limitations, but again - he’s made up for most of that with his intangibles. Showing up for the Second City Derby days after his beloved Father passed away shows what type of man he is. Still, as a football manager, he’s very tactically limited and relies on his coaching staff of Steve Agnew, Ste Clemence and Colin Calderwood for advice. He’s like Fergie - almost, but Alex Ferguson was something else despite his own obvious limitations. He was a businessman, a delegator. You see a lot of that in Brucey, one of Fergie’s proteges. What you don’t see is the Champions League titles and the constant stream of success, but the same DNA is there.
He’ll come out swinging and he’s aimed more than a few remarks at a specific section of our fanbase and while he’s beloved by some, he’s simply tolerated by many.
4. Predict the Score.
I can’t look past Villa. I know all about Leeds and they are in a black hole of divine creation. There’s no escape, is there? Still - we got tonked by QPR so anything can happen. I’ll go for 2-1 Villa, but won’t be surprised if you snatch a draw, or even a win! Good luck.