So far, I think Villa have done good business. From what I’m reading, we’re out around £74m–£82m for El Ghazi, Jota, Wesley, Hause, Mings, Targett, and Konsa, then whatever we paid for Guilbert. So, seven new signings in this window so far for around £7.5m–£12m a pop. Pretty reasonable. And all fitting Dean’s and Purslow’s criteria.
The alacrity with which Villa cleared the dressing room obviously indicates that decisions had been made a while back and that there’s no time to waste getting the club remade in time for the preseason. So, Promotion Plan was implemented, and it seems a lot of homework has been done. Exhibit A was the speed with which they got Jota in, and now Exhibit B is what’s being called the shock signing of Wesley.
We’re back for the run-in. Eight matches left, the first being Blackburn at Villa Park this afternoon. Villa are as healthy as they’ve been all season, Smith has good options, and it’s just a question of whether the side can keep the momentum they had going into the break.
Middlesbrough came calling Saturday at a rather important juncture in Villa’s season, and promised a stern test. However, Villa largely brushed Tony Pulis’ men and tactics aside to cruise to a vital 3-0 win that saw us climb back into the promotion places for the first time since something like the sixth week of the campaign. Not a bad day.
Back-to-back wins, and suddenly Villa have a viable if tenuous path to the playoffs. Whether or not we get there, there’s still nothing more satisfying in a regular-season context than doing the double on the clowns at home. Now a win at The City Ground seems rather important.