It’s been a pretty good week for Aston Villa.
They beat Newcastle on Monday and got a draw against Manchester United on Sunday, and while they’re still only three points above the relegation zone, the Premier League is so congested they could be comfortably in mid table by their next game.
And if that wasn’t reward enough, the panel on the latest edition of the Totally Football Show have been impressed with their performances of late, too.
“Probably their spirit more than anything,” said Emma Saunders about what has impressed her most about Villa. “With their squad, they’re probably in the right part of the table, but I do think it’s their spirit that is going to keep them up.”
It’s probably not a surprise that their recent good form has coincided with Jack Grealish playing so well. Better than a few others in his position too.
“Villa fans got a bit annoyed about him not being in the last England squad, but it was a bit of a manufactured crisis because he was injured before and missed the first Villa game afterwards,” said Daniel Storey.
“Southgate does have a decision to make, because on form he’s playing better than Mason Mount is at the moment, he’s probably playing as well as James Maddison. Grealish likes to dominate the ball and run the tempo of the game, it’s whether he thinks in a 4-3-3 it’s worth having a player that does that.”
Michael Cox added: “He’s not even playing in his best position at the moment. He’s said before he doesn’t really like playing on the left of a three, he likes playing in midfield, but Conor Hourihane has done really well recently. So to have him, Hourihane and John McGinn in the same side – they’re a really good team to watch, Aston Villa.”
There are some caveats, though. “I still think they struggle for goals,” said Michael Cox. “I don’t think the occasional Grealish long-ranger and Tyrone Mings will be regular sources of goals this season, and you want to see a bit more from Wesley.
“A lot of people have said there isn’t a great amount of quality in the Premier League this season, but it depends how you look at it: obviously there aren’t many outside of the top three, but there aren’t many really bad teams either.
“When Villa came up, a lot of people criticised them for almost overhauling the whole side, but actually they play really good football and you look at the teams down there, them and Brighton are only three points above the relegation zone – whenever I see those two teams they look really good teams.
“There’s no Fulham and no Huddersfield this season, so it is competitive at the bottom.”
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