Dean Smith & Co. took their first bows this week, and along with Christian Purslow, seemed to quite easily make a good impression all round. Well, Purslow seems a bit tightly wound, but you know what I mean. When he talked about Villa’s FFP woes being completely resolved? He made a pretty good impression. Richard O’Kelley seems likable and no nonsense. John Terry made all the right noises. And Smith? Smith managed to not say a whole lot other than promotion remains the goal.
Weeks of speculation and tabloid frenzy ended Wednesday with the appointment of Dean Smith as Steve Bruce’s successor at Aston Villa. Smith will be joined by none other than John Terry, who was seemingly part of the package for whoever we’ve been talking to.
And strangely this new era begins just as we hear of the passing of Sir Doug Ellis. RIP, Doug.
Thanks to Conor Hourihane, Villa came away with a point at the weekend, and one that left many supporters underwhelmed. Once again. There are folks urging patience. Always are. And, given the new faces who’ve yet to really be integrated, there’s still some argument for patience. However, I really have seen just about enough of what looks like ineptitude.
After wobbling through the opening five fixtures to the tune of two wins and three draws, the wheels finally came off for Villa: first in the cup exit to Burton Albion, and then more decisively at Bramall Lane, where Sheffield United notched a comprehensive 4-1 victory.
Reading, for their part, have had a rough start to the campaign under Paul Clement, losing three before also drawing 2-2 in their last outing. I’d prefer today not be the one where they start putting it together. Villa aren’t too far off the pace, and could well have either won or lost the game midweek. Maybe today, Villa can build on the good moments against Brentford and start putting together a full 90 minutes that sees them comfortable and assured.