Following Dean Smith’s first full week of training with the Villa squad, Bolton came to Villa Park Friday night and were sent home on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline with Jack Grealish and James Chester providing the goals. By Smith’s own admission it was a mediocre performance, but it was a needed three points and clean sheet.
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.
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.