It all turned out okay and Burnley at Villa Park

Losing to Manchester United was tough and I don't think it does enough for Erik ten Hag to save his job and that's what makes it just a little bit worse. That said, there is a chance the new regime come in and decide that what he's done since May last year is good enough for Manchester United.

I think there are a lot of Manchester United fans that think it isn't. We'll soon find out, the new regime have had plenty of time to think about it and make plans. 

And you could easily argue that managers need time. Or that's what I've always thought and if I was looking at this a year ago and ten Hag had a win rate of 59% you might say he was well on his way, because he was given that time. And if that is the case, Emery with a 60% win rate seems to have us in a very good position and if things do get better with time, then we have reason to feel very optimistic.

But I should move on from Manchester United. And moving on isn't actually that hard, because apart from Liverpool and Manchester City, every other Club appeared to have a bit of a mare, so on December 30th 2023 we find ourselves third in the table three points behind the leaders.

It's not so bad and try to remember where we were just over a year ago.

We had someone managing our Club that was given the job because he was mates with the CEO and there were real fears of relegation. Actions speak louder than words. The former manager was well trained in words, but I think supporters now are more interested in action.

So we move on to Burnley and this is another potential banana skin and we have to approach this as if it was the last game of the season and a win meant top four. I think we approach every game that way, but today we have to be focused for 90 minutes. I think we will be.

But that's just optimistic me, anything could happen at 3pm today. All I know is I'll be sat in front of the sofa drinking some very cold Swedish lager. Possibly followed by a nice bottle of wine and topped off with something spicy from Skåne.

So, until then lads and if I don't get a chance, happy new year. We've had a good one and lets hope hope for more of the same next year and please don't forget, the most important thing - it's where we are in the table and it's are we putting silverware in the cabinet. Everything else is just noise.

Match facts from the BBC


  • This is the 100th top-flight meeting. Aston Villa lead by 42 wins to Burnley's 34, with 23 draws.
  • Villa won the reverse fixture 3-1 in August and are vying to complete the league double over Burnley for the first time since 1925-26.
  • Burnley are unbeaten on their past four visits to Villa Park, with each of the last three ending in a draw.

Aston Villa

  • Aston Villa's 10-match unbeaten league run ended on Boxing Day. They are winless in successive league games for the first time this season.
  • Villa dropped points from a winning position for the first time this season against Manchester United, having won their previous 12 top-flight matches when ahead.
  • After a club record run of 15 consecutive home league victories, they drew their most recent fixture at Villa Park against bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United.
  • Their current 23-match scoring streak in Premier League home games is Villa's longest since a run of 33 between May 1982 and December 1983.
  • Unai Emery's side have equalled the club record of 31 league and cup wins in a calendar year, first set in 1977.
  • However, they are winless in nine year-ending matches at home since beating Fulham 20 years ago (D4, L5).
  • Emery has won all four of his Premier League fixtures against Burnley.
  • Ollie Watkins has scored 21 top-flight goals in 2023. No Villa player has been more prolific in a calendar year since Andy Gray netted 23 times in 1976.


  • Burnley kept a first clean sheet in 16 Premier League away matches when they beat Fulham 2-0 last weekend.
  • They are aiming to earn consecutive top-flight away victories for the first time since May 2021.
  • The Clarets are the only side in the division yet to earn a point from a losing position this season.
  • Wilson Odobert can become the first Burnley player to score in three successive top-flight away games since Ray Harkin in 1976.
  • Jay Rodriguez has gone 28 Premier League away appearances without a goal since he scored in Burnley's 3-0 win at Crystal Palace in February 2021.