The League Cup starts up and poses a familiar test for Villa of late—that of focusing on the league at the expense of all other distractions. Once we’re back to mid-table in the Premier League, Villa can start taking cups seriously again, but not before. Unless of course we find the youngsters carrying us to an advanced stage.
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.
Cup ties haven’t been much to look forward to for Villa the last several years. This season might not be so different except for the fact that Villa have a deep squad and a number of players looking to either reclaim their places or earn further consideration as future starters.
Villa, I think, are in a hesitant cycle. People who make the decisions are afraid or unwilling to step out and face the future. Falling back on what was once comfortable, once worked, and was once successful is too strong a feeling to really change.
So here we are, third game coming up to close out a week of revelations that’s seen Villa score—score, not concede—eight goals in two games. Count ‘em: Eight. What in the world is going on? This is not our Villa.