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February Primer: Let the good times roll

Aston Villa hope success breeds success as the calendar flips

Sheffield United v Aston Villa - Sky Bet Championship
The joy of success
Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

A month ago Villa had dropped in form and table; fans knew that the club had to have a strong January to even be in the promotion talk.

A reflection on a rough December

It was the exact month that Villa could not afford to have and that is even with finding a win in the final match of the year. January can change everything though — both on an off the field.

And boy did it.

January: New Year Bump

The worries were high coming into 2018 but the team responded very well.

Jan 1st Bristol City 5 - 0 Win

Jan 6th Peterborough United 1 - 3 Loss (FA Cup)

Jan 13th @ Nottingham Forest 0 - 1 Win

Jan 20th Barnsley 3 - 1 Win

Jan 30th @ Sheffield United 0 - 1 Win

The FA Cup loss was a poor showing in a competition that Villa often cite in the trophy count — but that can’t take the shine off four wins in league play including two tough road fixtures.

Player of the Month: Jack Grealish.

Hear me out if you just (totally justifiably) just shouted Birkir Bjarnason’s name at your computer/phone. Jack, now 22-year-old (I feel old), has come into his own having been given the freedom to play in the midfield. It has been great to see him contributing on both wings — while also dropping very deep to pick up the ball. The man has dictated the attack and appears to be living up to the potential that Villans have since since his days playing with the youth squad.

Bjarnason has been fantastic in the holding role since coming on at half of the Nottingham Forest matchup to replace Glenn Whelan -- and added his first goal as a sub in the January 1 match. BB deserves an honorable mention and more — if giving co-players of the month wasn’t such a cop-out.

Couple of quick news notes to round up the month:

  • Aston Villa made one move on Deadline Day bringing in Louis Grabban on loan from Bournemouth for the rest of the season.
  • Contract Rumblings: Hutton, reportedly, not to be offered a new deal after his contract expires this summer.
  • Match fixtures against Wolves and Hull matches have been moved. So has Easter weekend’s match-up against Reading in April.

February Table

# Club Played Points Wins Draws Losses
# Club Played Points Wins Draws Losses
1 Wolves 29 65 20 5 4
2 Derby County 29 54 15 9 5
3 Aston Villa 29 53 15 8 6
4 Cardiff City 28 51 15 6 7
5 Bristol City 29 51 14 9 6
6 Fulham 29 48 13 9 7
7 Sheff Utd 29 46 14 4 11
8 Middlesbrough 29 45 13 6 10
9 Preston 29 45 11 12 6
10 Leeds United 29 44 13 5 11
Note: Cardiff City will play their game in hand in February so teams will be even come March.

February Schedule:

Feb 3rd Burton

Feb 11th Birmingham (TV)

Feb 17th @ Fulham

Feb 20th Preston

Feb 24th @ Sheffield Wednesday

Obviously the derby stands out — and it will be a wild affair as always and one where anything can happen. Villa need to take care of business against bottom of the table Burton to start the month of strong. Away to Fulham is the toughest of the bunch -- but all-in-all there are points to be had in the second month of the year — as Villa look to achieve the second spot in the table.

In conclusion, here is the video of Snodgrass’ brilliant goal again... because I can’t stop watching it.

And I did a whole post about February without mentioning Valentine’s Day. Because it is stupid.