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?
After a dizzying summer, all of a sudden Villa’s first match is upon us. And it seems almost like an afterthought, even thought it’s hugely important for any number of reasons. This is why a traditional season preview just hasn’t been working for me right now. So here’s the crap version.
Up til now, it’s all been fun and games, always another day, another possibility. After the final, well, season two in the promotion stakes will be final, for good or bad. I really just want to wake up and see that we’ve won. But before it comes to that, I have to say it’s been a good ride.
Since the job’s only halfway done, the business at hand tonight will be all about whether Boro can or will shuffle things around. Or whether you can negate Traore twice in four days using the same tactics. In other words, how will Adama and Tony Pulis react? And can Villa conjure up a repeat performance? Boro will be desperate, and Villa can’t afford to retreat into a shell. Now’s the time to roar and give Fulham something to think about.
It’s Tuesday already, and one hopes we’ve dusted ourselves off and are ready to go again tonight following Saturday’s loss to Fulham. Preston North End come in off a draw with Wolves, are unbeaten in five, will be nipping at our heels just a bit if they win and draw within six, and likely will face the similarly diminished Villa squad that took the field against the Cottagers.