Four league matches are done. One cup match is done. It's time to reset. The season is young, but with the team looking so much different than it did even a couple months ago, it's never to early to talk about how it's going.
Q: The intentional break is over and Aston Villa are coming back Sunday. How are you feeling about Villa's season so far?
Trepidatious. All of the ingredients are there for this team to break out and be something special, but they've yet to put it all together. That's fine! It's still early! But I've said from day one that Villa have a huge range of possible outcomes this year: they could challenge for sixth if everything works or they could be relegated. I still think that the latter is pretty unlikely, but if they can't make the best of the next couple of matches, there's a rough stretch that could put some fear into me.
So far? Could do better. Villa seem to be a team with a lot to prove, but they're not playing with that chip on their shoulder you would expect from a team that took big losses over the summer.
Sherwood needs to distill and bottle some attitude to spread among the team that lasts a full 90 minutes, not for the first 10.
I am not exactly jumping for joy because of their season so far, but I'd be an idiot to write it off at this point. The players have had an international break and I'm more than happy to hope that they will wise up and tear Leicester a new one.
A little frustrated with the results, but happy enough with how the side is shaping up. Jordan Amavi and Idrissa Gana coming in and looking good and Scott Sinclair scoring goals and we're already more exciting than last year. So long as even a couple of the other guys click, we'll have a good season. Even if they don't, we should steer clear of relegation.
My only real worry is Tim Sherwood's sub issues so far - twice in four matches he's been outmanaged by an opposing manager´s subs. Hopefully the more he gets to know his players, the more he'll feel able to respond.
Very fine, all things considered. Villa have played a couple teams better than them so far, and haven't been played off the pitch yet. Statistically speaking, we're clearly not one of the worst teams in the division after four games, and as long as that's not the case, things'll work themselves out over time.
I do echo Adam's concern about Sherwood's in-game tactics though. It's clear he made the right call beforehand at Bournemouth, but the results against Crystal Palace and Sunderland were difficult to watch, given how our opponents stepped up in the second half after making changes while we stood idly by.
*Very cautiously* optimistic. Results so far have been mixed but I never expected us to be immediately brilliant. We have a stronger, more creative squad that should keep us out of trouble. If the likes of Jack Grealish, Adama Traore and Amavi hit full stride we will be fun to watch. However, we have to find a way of picking up points before Christmas. There will be no Christian Benteke to bail us out if we end up in a relegation fight.
Not great, but not terrible either. There's definitely some work to be done - Sherwood's substitutions, lack of identity, and clumsy individual errors have all caused problems so far. Only managing a draw against Sunderland was particularly frustrating. But we have to remember that a year ago, after 4 games, we had ten points, were second in the table, giving Paul Lambert a new contract; all of which resulted in an awful season. I'm not thrilled, but I'm not terribly disappointed either.
In a word: acceptable. Four points from four games keeps Villa among the pack of teams that will probably all be battling relegation come the spring. The disappointing thing is that, based on performances, Villa should have a few more points. The Bournemouth victory was actually a bit lucky, but Villa were unlucky not to get anything from United or Palace and should've beaten Sunderland based on the flow of each match. The four points earned so far easily could be seven or eight, which is equally encouraging and frustrating. But of course, the Villa wouldn't have it any other way.
Slightly concerned. Although it looks like Tim Sherwood bought all the right pieces (striker pending), he doesn't quite know how best to use them just yet. That will come with time, and the results haven't been poor enough to cause too much worry, but the going gets really tough after the upcoming few fixtures.
I have an admittedly bad habit of often letting Villa's last result sway me too far in one direction or the other. The draw against Sunderland is a bad result, so right now I don't feel that great. But when I step back and actually look at the players we have, I do think we have enough to semi-comfortably get past any relegation fears. The squad isn't perfect and the manager is far from perfect, but I do think we have enough to gain safety. Even if at the moment I'm terrified that we're going to finish 20th. Such as life as a Villa supporter, I guess.
That's what our staff had to say and now we want to hear from you. What do you think of Villa's season so far?