It’s a long season, and plenty more errors will come. But they will learn from them quickly and eventually cut them out.
Words by Mark Jirobe | Follow the writer on Twitter: @VillaMarkPGH
Growing Pains. A baptism of fire. Bend, yet don’t break. Learning curves. Against the grain. Rough around the edges.
Call it what you will – these are all patterns of phase you will hear this season if you are a supporter of Aston Villa. Coming back into the Premier League after a three-year absence isn’t an easy task for any football club. It is well known that Aston Villa are an historically important club. Some may argue that the club will never reach the lofty heights of the past, but in the same breath, others will argue that the only way is up for the Midland footballing giant.
Do Aston Villa deserve to be in the Premier League?
Was it ever going to be a walk in the park?
The idea that Aston Villa will have to fight tooth and nail for every single point this season is not a negative one. Whilst losing at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the opening weekend, and in the repeat result against Bournemouth at Villa Park – the side didn’t look like a team that was out of place or out of its depth.
Neither result was not a ‘demolition exhibition’ by any means. The only issue is that Aston Villa were their own worst enemies (and hasn’t this been the case for as long as recent past will let us remember?). Giving away possession too cheaply and running out of steam against Spurs, and silly, avoidable mistakes against the Cherries.
Aston Villa have not been playing against low-level, Championship sides. They’ve played a team revered around the globe for their tactical awareness and offensive prowess, and one of the most progressive sides lead by a young English manager who has managed his side to back-to-back promotions from League One to the Premier League, and then turned them into a stable Premier League outfit. When Aston Villa come up against sides like this, Dean Smith and his side will learn from every single minute.
It’s no shock that some Aston Villa supporters will feel a little jaded about their opening results. In reality, Villa opened the scoring against and held off a Champions League finalist for 73 minutes, and dominated an exciting side for swathes of the game despite two early mistakes. It’s a far cry from struggling to a 1-1 draw against Blackburn Rovers.
Take the two games as positives. Learn from them. The players will, and so should the fans.
There’s a trust in Dean Smith and his coaching staff, and this shouldn’t be tarnished after two Premier League games. The playing and coaching staff know there are lessons to be learned, mistakes to be made, and things to be corrected.
It’s a long haul, and Aston Villa will be a better footballing side for experiencing the ache of their opening two games.