Big match tonight and before I get to that and why it's important, two quick things. Yesterday I was in Sweden, right now I'm in Austria and in about four hours I'll be in Denmark. I'm going to miss the first 15 minutes of the match so if someone could kindly add the team news to the comments below, I'd be grateful.
Second thing; I really don't enjoy the style of football we get under Steve Bruce. I don't know why people seem to think I do as I've never written that before. I think on a few occasions I might have even written about how we shouldn't be surprised at it. I mean, this is Steve Bruce football.
But Steve Bruce didn't relegate us and despite the style of football, he has gotten teams promoted. It's also why his teams are relegated from the Premier League. It's also why if it doesn't happen this season, we need to change. But after three games of the season when we've not lost, it's also reason why, with everything else written above, he has to get this second season to try.
And to confirm that point, it's not always the teams that play attractive football that are promoted. Sometimes, it's Steve Bruce or Neil Warnock. Sometimes, it's not about passing and making space (it has to be in the Premier League), sometimes it's about grinding out results and usually always it's about doing that throughout the entire season and not a handful of games.
And Bruce didn't relegate us. And he is doing his best to get us promoted. If that happens or not, nobody can question his determination or desire or his past success. And everyone, or hopefully everyone, wants to see us promoted. A little positivity wouldn't hurt right now.
So many were moaning after the start to last season and you could sort of understand that, after the start we had. But so many are still moaning after not losing this season. You'd be forgiven for thinking that Aston Villa fans were just moaners.
Brentford at Villa Park
Before this season started and before last season ended a lot of people below were talking about Dean Smith as a replacement for Steve Bruce. The same Dean Smith that has managed 392 matches with a win percentage of 35%. And he might be the man to take us further one day, you never know.
What we do know is that regardless of the result tonight, it's irrelevant. But the key word there is result. The result is important tonight because we could go top. Sure, it would mean witnessing something quite impressive, but mathematically tonight we could go top. And if we win, but don't score enough, that will be what people moan about.
If we lose, well, we all know what is coming and the players and manager are waiting for that, to feel good about themselves, because all that moaning will help us next time. Right?
Match facts from the BBC
- Aston Villa are winless in their past four Championship matches against Brentford (D2 L2) - their last win in any competition was in an FA Cup tie in February 1953.
- Brentford have never won away from home at Aston Villa in six attempts in all competitions (D4 L2), drawing their last two Championship visits there.
- Including last season's play-offs, Aston Villa have lost just one of their previous 17 league games at Villa Park (W11 D5).
- Brentford have suffered just one defeat in their previous 12 Championship games (W6 D5), scoring at least one goal in 11 of those fixtures.
- Aston Villa have not kept a clean sheet in any of their past five Championship games, their longest such run since August 2017 (a run of seven games conceded in).
- Neal Maupay has been directly involved in six of Brentford's eight goals in the Championship so far this season (three goals and three assists).
I know I've forgotten something but I'm also sure I'll be reminded of it by someone. Until later, up the Villa!