“We didn’t deserve that” or “What a poor win” are things you may have heard after last night’s 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest.
Now, these statements can be true - but sometimes, a certain portion of our fanbase can be overwhelmingly negative and that’s probably why I feel the way I do when I walk to Villa Park or hear the boos after every single wayward ball. Maybe it is because we expect so much more from Aston Villa than scraping a win every now and then. That’s part and parcel of being an above-average football team though.
When we start to mock and chastise wins, the very essence of the game that we as fans chase so often, we start to have a big problem. The problem being that nothing is good enough, not even the ecstasy of a win. With that being said, for the chaotically negative among us - what is good enough? Must we deliver thrashings of 6 or 7 goals on a weekly basis to be on the right track? Must Jonathan Kodjia present a 10 out of 10 performance for some Villa fans to get their fix?
Certainly, you can have problematic wins - like Ipswich during the first portion of the season. McCarthy’s Ipswich made the most of their chances - something that teams find hard to do - and regularly outscored their own xG defined tallies. That catches up with you and a return to the ‘mean’ is to be expected if you’re not creating chances worthy of your scorelines on a regular basis - simply because you’re not playing ‘the average match’ in which you’d expect a score tally represented by your xG tally. Life catches up with you like that. The same goes for the other side of the coin - stealing scrappy wins. Problematic in certainty, because it’s not the average game is it? You’re under the cosh and iron out that 2-1 win against all perceived odds. Even then, we should be enjoying these matches whilst looking for meaning.
When we’ve seen a 3-0 loss to Cardiff and a 2-1 loss to Reading along with two meagre draws, you’d hope we could all relish in a 3-0 win away to Barnsley and a 2-1 scrap at home to Forest, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. At this point, no win is bad - because a win is a win. It gets you the three points that are a godsend when it comes to promotion. You need that win often and honestly, as long as the average has you winning games, you can aways enjoy an away blowout and a scrappy home win. Even then, wins are to be enjoyed.
Certainly you might not feel that a win was deserved, nor that a win was earned - but a bad win is a paradox, simply because winning a game can never be a negative result unless your goal is something that exists in another dimension, not parallel to the one where Villa are gunning for promotion.
If that’s not good enough for the angry few, what is? How do they get their fix if the highs of a goal aren’t good enough?