When the fixtures came out earlier in the summer - and Aston Villa's first three fixtures read Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea - most Villa fans could be forgiven for fearing our start to the 2013-14 Premier League season. Then to top things off the Chelsea fixture was changed due to their involvement in the UEFA Super Cup, meaning the first three 'nightmare' games would all take place in the opening 7 days of the season.
August 23rd, 2013
New Manchester United manager David Moyes continued the ‘Fergie trend’ by moaning about their opening fixtures as they would meet Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City in the opening five weeks of the season, but Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert kept quiet and promised fans that the players would give their all.
Supporters on fan and social media websites were debating what the aim would be points-wise from those first three games, with many stating a solitary single point would be a good return.
When Villa visited the Emirates the weekend, not only did Arsenal have to sit up and take notice – but so did the rest of English football! But certain media outlets didn’t seem to like this by coming up with excuses as to why Arsene Wenger’s men lost, with the main one being the match-day officials. Not many actually came out and gave Aston Villa the credit they deserved.
The boys in claret and blue are growing up and maturing into men as they battled for every single ball, knowing that they couldn’t beat Arsenal by trying to out-pass them – so they defended well as a unit and hit the Gunners on the counter attack.
Gabriel Agbonlahor, Fabian Delph, Brad Guzan and new signing Tony Moon (Antonio Luna) all stood out in an opening day 3-1 victory over Arsenal.
The fine form continued against Chelsea and – had refereeing decisions gone our way – maybe we could’ve come away with all three points.
Aston Villa seems to have learned and grew up following their difficult season last year and the future once again looks bright. There is new optimism amongst the claret and blue faithful, while Paul Lambert seems to be building a squad who want to play for Aston Villa and not their wage packets.
Don’t get me wrong – we are from from the finished article and I don’t think we will challenge for a top 8 spot in the league this season, but based on this form I firmly believe that we will finish mid-table with ease and can continue building and improving under a very fine manager in Paul Lambert.