RAMBLE | Villa 1-2 Wednesday

RAMBLE | Villa 1-2 Wednesday

Another week. Another away game.

After the horror shows of Bolton and Derby, surely things would be better this time around?

Not likely given the pedigree of our opponents.

The car chat was thorough as always, I’m not sure my Mum enjoys my Dad and I rattling on about football she doesn’t know about for the entire journey every time.

We commented on Fulham’s defeat the previous night against Wolves, continuing their really poor start to the season.

Amazing that despite our poor run lately, we’re still the highest placed team of those who missed out on playoff success last year.

It only goes to show how many amazing teams there are in this league with amazing squads, (Villa being very much one of them) that there are so many of these kind of teams below us despite our own disappointment with the first third of the season.

Chatter turned to our newly firing front man, Jordan Rhodes, who got a surprise start and a deserved goal against Millwall in midweek.

In truth he could’ve easily had a hat trick. I love the way he gets on the end of everything, always looking to get a shot in.

Rhodes’ start was somewhat surprising given we all thought Joao was the man knocking on the door, but he proved Carlos right by scoring the winner.

All Rhodes lead to Villa…

The thing my parents most wanted to discuss was why he was able to play for Scotland.

Despite this my Dad fancied Rhodes to be dropped, with Fletcher coming back in. He felt a similar fate awaited Butters with Lee also possibly returning. I thought it’d be unchanged but for Hunt instead of Palmer.

We discussed managers as well, my long-standing distaste for Steve Bruce coming to the fore. I concluded (maybe harshly) that there are plenty of managers at this level who get a lot of credit for being particularly average, him included.

Simon Grayson is the latest to have been axed from the impossible Sunderland job, despite being considered a miracle worker at Preston for achieving consistent mid-table finishes.

To be fair to him, I’m not even sure I’d take the Sunderland job right now.

Obviously we had to mention Carlos. Personally I think if we can make the playoffs again this year that’d be a real credit to the man. Not many managers get into the playoffs three years in a row.

A cure for many ills

We managed to park down a typically unrestricted side road my Dad found on Google Maps. He’s quite smug about this handy ability.

A quick trip over Aston Park and we were staring at the Holte End. Much closer than we parked at Derby!

A quick debate over which burger van to attend meant we settled on the busiest and we weren’t let down. Some cracking burgers in Villa I’ve decided.

I went back for another one.

As we did our lap of the stadium, there was a strange feel in the air. Villa fans are obviously confident about their team’s chances of success in individual games (include Saturday’s), but at the same time disappointed with lying in the Championship.

Historically they’re a Premier League club, and it shows in the ground.

The setup at Villa is fascinating, everything is just a cut above the other grounds I’ve visited this season, not just because it’s huge!

We watched the highlights from last season’s game on a big screen outside the North Stand, which was brilliant.

The screen, not the highlights, they were dreadful, we were robbed there last year.

Team news filtered through and Kieran Lee was missing, out for some time with a knee injury according to The Star.

Great, another injury.

Good news was Butterfield and Rhodes (who were both exceptional against Millwall) kept their places.

I was less optimistic when I saw the Villa team, which was fearsome to say the least.

Terry and Chester are absolutely a Premier League centre back partnership, and the midfield was also pretty intimidating.

Whelan and Snodgrass have a lot of top flight games under their belts, whilst Hourihane and Adomah have both thrived at this level.

These four were included from the start

This wasn’t going to be easy.

We shuffled up some stairs into the smallest concourse I’ve been in. It’s more of a corridor really.

That said, up the stairs is an amazing stadium.

The view was absolutely class (I love being on the side, more away ends there please).

I had a cracking view of the warm-ups while I thought about why I’d bothered coming since we were definitely getting battered.

Before I’d even realised, the players were walking out.

As usual the rendition of The Last Post was touching, followed by the always-impressive roar of the fans. Bafflingly the minute’s silence that had been mentioned didn’t happen.

 

THE MATCH

 

I checked my phone and missed the kick off, looking up to see Westwood slogging the ball up the field.

The ball bobbled around and fell to Reach, go on son have a pop… YESSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!

WHAT A GOAL! That absolutely flew in!

Oh my days!!!

I’d barely even realised the game was underway and we were ahead!

Only 90 minutes to hold on now!

The away fans were in fine voice, spurred on by the quality and speed of the opener. Villa looked absolutely rattled.

Terry limped off to much applause from our lot, having lunged in on Wallace just before.

Minutes later Bannan exchanged passes with Hooper who played the Scot through on goal.

Rhodes popped up out of nowhere… YESSSSSS! Another beautiful goal!

2-0 up and the party was swinging.

Welcome back Jordan Rhodes…

The guy in front of me fell a few rows down the stand and couldn’t care less.

This was amazing, what a performance!

The lads ran their socks off and Villa were limited to lots of midfield passing, Glenn Loovens particularly looked solid as a rock first half.

Snodgrass was brought off, much to our bafflement, but I for one thoroughly enjoyed the rendition of We All Hate Leeds S**m.

There were plenty of cheers when he had a little paddy on the bench.

 

HALF TIME: Villa 0-2 Wednesday

 

What a half! That’s the best I’d seen us play all season.

The second half came around and it was clear Bruce had given them a talking to.

As expected, we were under a lot of pressure, but the lads didn’t buckle. Lees and Loovens won every header whilst Fox and Hunt hacked plenty clear.

The half was largely uneventful until late on, when Reach had half a sight at goal.

Reach challenges for the ball (Image: AVFC)

He nicked it past Chester, pulled it back for Fletcher, surely he’d put it in the open goal…

Palmer took it off him. Sliding in, he hacked the ball wide and the chance was gone.

Suddenly I felt some pressure as I realised that if he’d scored the game would’ve been over, but now it still wasn’t.

It boosted Villa, who went down the other end and after a scramble hacked the ball home, but it was thankfully disallowed for handball.

Samba was thrown up front and proceeded to win entirely zero headers.

Excellent team performance

The minutes dragged on as Villa piled on the pressure and their fans poured down the tunnels and off to their cars.

“We can see you sneaking out!”

The added 6 minutes ticked down and my Dad bravely claimed there simply wasn’t time now for Villa to get 2 goals.

The ball was fired across our goal and Samba tucked it home. S**T.

Thankfully the referee blew the whistle seconds after we kicked off again, and the party was back on!

 

FULL TIME: Villa 1-2 Wednesday

 

What a result! And to go with it, an amazing performance.

This is the part where I’d usually ramble on about who were the best performers, but I honestly can’t pick one.

All the players on the pitch were absolutely fantastic.

Gun to my head I’d say Bannan and Butterfield were the pick of the bunch.

A great way to go into the international break, let’s hope they can keep it up against Bristol in two weeks.

That won’t be easy at all.

Hopefully we won’t be back to square one.

OWLS ALIVE circliar yeller SPACE

 

Matt
Owls Alive
E-MAIL: admin@owlsalive.com
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive and @MattRFez

Images – All belong to SWFC.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *