Aside from the cheesy ‘Carpenters’ reference, it does feel like we’re at the start of something special once again with our B6 outfit. We have a solid identity, smart recruitment and players with genuine quality from top to bottom. For my era, as a 26-year-old fan, the joys of celebrating Ashley Young curlers were the peak of my childhood. Martin O’Neill could no wrong in my eyes and the ‘Sky Sports News’ headline of him leaving back in August 2010, is scarred on my brain.
Fast-forward a decade and it feels like we’re heading towards more curlers (of a Grealish variety) and a manager who is coaching his way towards having a top ten Premier League side. It’s fairly obvious the chasm between the two seasons couldn’t be wider but having nearly reached the checkpoint of matching the points total, let’s see where those differences have come so far.
At 19 games, Villa have played half of the campaigns’ games now. However, some of the key improvements on last seasons fixtures are much bigger than we may have thought at the time. The points tally that you see above is based on each individual home and away fixture. With our away form being so improved, it’s important to see that overall jump in points on the road. The lads have already smashed the away points total from last year, with so much potential to beat our home record too, it’s easy to say things are looking up. It’s also worth noting that I randomly assigned last seasons relegated clubs, to this seasons promoted clubs.
The away win at Leicester looks massive now, a bit of a smash and grab with Barkley’s last minute winner but a game that last season, we lost heavily. The Liverpool, Wolves and Fulham results show how we’re winning different types of games to last season. The ‘7-2’ will be infamous for the 20/21 season but this was the game we displayed just how much we’d improved in every department. We were dominated by Wolves at the Molineux last season, as opposed to an even game this time being nicked by that last 1% of fuel John McGinn had left in his tank. Watford schooled us, this time we schooled Fulham.
I’m more than aware that some of our biggest points improvements have come from teams who may have had their own issues at the time. I still think that with last seasons team, we maybe draw to Wolves and possibly scrape past Fulham. The performances have been superb all around and we’ve deserved so many more points than last year. With a bit of VAR luck and not being ‘Burnley’d’ by Burnley, we could have been staring at an even bigger points difference, but I’ll take the +13 any day.
For a bit of fun, I looked at attempting to sensibly predict our remaining fixtures. Nearly impossible to do given how topsy-turvy the form book is but let’s have a pop at where we could end up shall we?
So there you have it! Villa would finish on 59 points based on my predictions. Trying to guess this sent me back to June, using the results predictor to make it seem like staying up was possible.
Last season, 59 points and you were Spurs in 6th and Wolves in 7th, securing Europa League football…
With a huge amount of football to be played and so many factors to consider, anything could happen.
One thing I can predict with confidence, is watching my team play good football.
Win, lose or draw. UTV.
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