These are the good times to be an Aston Villa supporter. If it’s the worst that we’re disappointed in failing to take points at Anfield, albeit something to certainly be improved upon, then things aren’t that bad.
One daren’t peer into the reactionary world of social media to gauge rational opinion. Whilst it might exist in some quarters, it is drowned out by the slurry of immediacy and a modern fad expectation that winning every week is both the norm and the measure.
LIVERPOOL 3-0 VILLA
This was by no means a good Villa performance. We were second best; annoyingly so. Crucially, the telling moments will be reflected upon as unforced errors or simple glaring gulfs in class that as a football club we are seeking to close.
There were also moments of misfortune. Which is no-one’s fault (by the way). That is not to merely apply Steve Bruce-isms to performances that should have been better either. Sometimes, VAR doesn’t scrutinise the minutiae of a player lurking in the ‘keeper’s eyeline, or those times we succumb to an unfortunate own goal.Embed from Getty Images
Emery and Villa remain very much a side in transition, but despite this defeat, on the ascendency.
The measures of our improvement are not to be made against Hibernian.
Indeed, they are not Everton nor Burnley, against which we might describe our recent victories as ‘comfortable’. Our tests come against sides who have consistently competed at the top table domestically, and in Liverpool’s case, Europe too.
This is the transition that Emery and the club’s hierarchy must surely be mindful of as they seek to balance the clubs on-field progress against realism in the short term. This is not a Manchester City, Chelsea or Newcastle United style project. A fact we should be thankful for.
It also exposes uncomfortable truths.
Some of our favoured and most likeable players, might not be up to the task of lifting us to the heights which we aspire. That’s fine, but it is a further unfamiliar dose to a fanbase unaccustomed to becoming attached or sentimental about players who are idolized at B6 but who wouldn’t get into any of the sides above us.
It’s not familiar territory, at all, but one to be considered as we now enter an international break.