With very little going on on the transfer front in between games since last month, I decided to take a look at what some, including myself, hoped was a mini revival for the club after the decent signings made in the transfer window. The 1-0 victory and debut winner for Darren Bent is undoubtedly the highlight of the last two months, but has only been supported in the league by a decent, if not expected win away at Wigan. In the 8 league games since the turn of the year Villa have won the two aforementioned fixtures, drawing 4, and losing to the likes of United and Sunderland in the process. The defeat against the latter is definitely the down-point since the New Year, but equally uninspiring draws against Fulham and Blackpool of late have left Villa just 3 points off the relegation zone, and 5 points off of bottom club Wolves.
Villa’s 10 points in the league since the turn of the year is 9th highest in the league, but Houllier’s men have played 2 more games in that time than 9 of the 11 sides below them. Incidentally, despite the 10 points accumulated, Villa have dropped one place in the league from their position on January 1st, indicating the clubs behind are not letting go. However, good wins in the FA Cup against Sheffield United and Blackburn are certainly indicators of an improvement, which has been noticeable since the 1-0 home loss against Sunderland. With Blackburn up again next, Villa should be getting used to, if not bored of their opponents after countless recent FA and, in particular, League cup ties with Rovers. Incidentally, pointless stat of the day for you, if Villa score on Saturday it will be their 500th Premier League goal at Villa Park. Incentive if any of the players needed any!
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