Half way done, twenty-three to go, Leeds video and the state of Aston Villa

It's easy to get carried away and when two up at half time nobody can really be blamed for thinking we'd have won the game, even if Leeds looked like they wanted it more. But to lose like that, it was a little hard to take.

Oh, Marry Christmas, if you're reading this today. I celebrated yesterday, so today for me is about spending the morning tidying up and this afternoon eating more of the food from yesterday. But the game does deserve some reflection.


You see, I look at their side and apart from maybe the keeper, I don't see a player that I'd take over one of ours right now. But after watching them yesterday, you have to say they have so much potential. But was it potential that won them the game?

No it wasn't and we shouldn't be that disappointed by what did. It's basically the manager and the approach to the game. They had 66% possession, more shots, more shots on target and more corners. However he did it, their manager got them to that place where ours couldn't. But that is the first time it's happened to Dean Smith, so I'm not that disappointed.

But it does also make you think that automatic promotion is a big ask. We're half way through the season and fourteen points from second. Some might think that top six is a big ask, but we're only five points off that target and there are still 23 games to go. I think there is plenty of time.

Match highlights

State of the Aston Villa

And seeing as I have a couple of hours to kill, I've decided to put a little thought to this year, because it's fair to a lot has happened and it's about more than just the football.

I write that, because I don't think there is anyone that can disagree that the football isn't better and that things feel better. But we've also had new owners, we've had a Wembley appearance and we've got a new manager. So lets go in order.

Final defeat

We came as close as you can get to promotion last season and at this exact day last year we were sixth with 38 points. That doesn't mean that we're not going to get into the top six or have a chance. At exactly this point last season, Fulham were 11th and had one point less than we have right now.

What I'm trying to say is that things are very open and anything can still happen. Maybe top two is a bit optimistic, but you never know.

Fake Doctor

But after we failed to go up, the owner we had at the time was found out. And for those that don't remember or have tried to forget, his name was Tony Xia and he was a fake Doctor. I am glad he's gone.

He was embarrassing and it was actually also more embarrassing to see so many supporters fall for his lies and then still say and do whatever they could to befriend him on Twitter.

I know some people can't help it, but there are some that have built a career on the back of sucking up to the fake Doctor. How can they be taken seriously now? And this isn't hindsight, I always thought he was a charlatan and some will always say what they've got to say to please the masses.

New owners

But then, we were very fortunate to get some new owners and a pair that seem to understand that things don't happen instantly and that foundations need to be built. Not like the fake Doctor, who thought he could talk things into happening. And these two have done a great job of letting the Club and the results to the talking.

A new CEO

In fact, there is very little to report about them. Which is actually quite nice. They've appointed what appears to be a decent CEO in Christian Purslow and things seem to be in a good place. You might look to last season at this exact same time and feel like you can argue it and if we're not doing better position wise by end of business next season, you will have every right to be argue, but today the supporters feel good.

And a new manager

And supporters are feeling good because we have a new manager and the football makes you feel happy to support and watch Aston Villa. It's the intensity and desire that has been missing. Again, some might argue that that doesn't win you matches, but the evidence so far points to actually it does. We need to see over time and that's why I wrote above that we have to look to look at where we are at the end of business next season.

Don't get me wrong, I think we can still go up this season but it's a big ask. I think this season is our best chance and if we don't none of us know what happens next year, but we do know there will be recently relegated sides again and also sides with Premier League money still coming in. Every season is harder than the one before.

And before I leave this section, a thank you to Steve Bruce. He sorted the Club out despite the owner. He didn't get brought in at the right time and had to fight against a group of supporters from day one, for more than one reason. But it's now all in the past and we shouldn't be bringing him up again.

The second half of the season

But this post isn't just about looking back, it's about looking forward and even though Fulham are getting spanked week in week out in the Premier League at the moment, this time last year as I've written above, they were almost exactly where we are now and they made it. It's possible for us to go up and we just have to aim for it.

It's not about making too many changes in January, it's maybe about one or two more and it's about scoring goals. Hopefully the new keeper and Gary Cahill help us conceding so many goals and we continue to score. If both of those things happen, then we'll win more than we lose and we are putting ourselves in the best possible position.

All I know right now is it's more fun watching and supporting Aston Villa. If that gets us up or not, I don't know. If we don't go up, I don't know what happens next season either. But I do know we can go into 2019 with a little optimism and for that, I'm happy and so should all of you be too.