Villa are now 0-2 to start life back in the Premier League, and some are starting to worry a bit following the home defeat to Bournemouth. But to be fair, there are more who aren’t. Who’s right? Maybe everyone. Fact is, whatever the optimism everyone felt during the Summer of Spending, Villa were always facing a tough test.
Bournemouth today as Villa Park sees its first Premier League action in three seasons, and most on the outside would say it’s a match-up between two teams looking to avoid the drop. Which is pretty much what 10-14 of the teams in the PL are trying to do—though some will obviously have a much easier time of it than others.
As I was getting up this morning, the missus says, “Jack is back. He’s got sort of a poncy hairdo.” I thought she was talking about my daughter’s boyfriend, Jack, and wondered where he’d been off to and what he’d done to his head. I might’ve had a bit too much to drink last night. Turns out it’s our Jack, and yes, he has a poncy hairdo. “He’s good enough he can get away with it,” I said.
Following the astonishing 5-5 spectacle at Villa Park midweek, it’s off to the Riverside to take on third-place Middlesbrough. Boro are unbeaten in their last five, and have only lost twice all year, and the obvious statistic of interest is 22 goals scored versus 10 conceded. Villa have netted 36 times, by comparison, and conceded 30.
There are a lot of layers here, so let’s start by saying I’m not looking to go overboard. It’s easy to do, especially at such a critical juncture for the club. So let’s just say I’m happy Jack Grealish is staying. The kid is Villa enough to stick with the side when it might go against his best interests, and how many times have we seen that over the last decade?