Reviving sleeping giants (chapter 2): Aston Villa

Congrats on tying up the league! Nick Pope is an absolute steal at that price too!! Also, If Brad Smith is half as good as he was on your Etienne save you are laughing!
Congrats on tying up the league! Nick Pope is an absolute steal at that price too!! Also, If Brad Smith is half as good as he was on your Etienne save you are laughing!
Cheers mate, excited to see how he does in the Prem! As for Brad Smith, not been able to play him much yet but I'm hoping he'll be just as good indeed!
Apologies for the lack of updates lately, been busy and away from home since Thursday so haven't been able to play the game much! Updates will be back soon, probably later today or early tomorrow!
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July 2018: a busy pre-season

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So there we are then, the 2018/19 pre-season! The club posted our schedule on their website a couple of minutes ago and I thought I'd take a screenshot and share that with you. Fair to say we have a nice little bit of travelling to do and it should be nice to go around Europe before coming back home before the Premier League season starts! Speaking of the Premier League, we also got to know what our first few fixtures would be:

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So our opening game will be against Swansea! They finished in 9th last season under Carlos Carvalhal so they are clearly a much better team that they used to be so it'll be tough for our first game, even at home. The rest of the schedule for our first 5 games looks fine I think, games away against Huddersfield and Tottenham could be tough but the rest are home games in matches that we can definitely win, so it should be okay. Now then, for our summer arrivals!

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Our first signing is a non-UK one and it's Frenkie de Jong! The 21 year old comes in from Ajax and for just under £10 million, looks like he could be a fantastic signing for the future. I think our weakest area in the team right now is mostly in the midfield and in the Premier League, we'll need a strong midfield if we're to finish above the relegation zone in our first season back. Frenkie can play as a CDM or as a CM, which means Maresic will also be able to be one of our starting centre-backs now.

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This signing is an interesting one. He was on the transfer-list at Cagliari and seems like an absolutely incredible player so it's a no-brainer for me that I wanted to get him, but we'll be getting him officially next season. The rule about non-UK transfers doesn't actually apply to loans so that means that Nicolò will be with us on loan until we officially sign him next season for £10 million, a great deal for us I think. My scouts reckon he could become one of the best centre-mids in the Premier League as well so I'll take it!

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I still wanted to improve the midfield despite our two previous signings and when I saw that Ross was on the transfer list, I immediately went in for him. For just £12 million, we're getting a player who's still far off his potential and who could become a starting midfielder for England in the future so to get him for such a low fee is incredible. Despite his really high wages, I really do believe that he's a great signing for us and will do a great job at the club.

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With our new arrivals in the midfield, I needed to get rid of some of the players who wouldn't be called upon throughout the season and Lansbury, as good as he was last year, is one of those players. We managed to get £5 million for him which isn't bad at all, and I wish him the best in the Championship at Barnsley.

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Same goes for Gardner, who was out on loan last season and now leaves the club for £2 million, going to France to play for Stade Brestois 29. Again, I wish him the best over there and hope he'll get the playing time he needs.

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As of right now, our final signing is Saido Berahino. He's a very promising striker who can also play on the wings and so will be a fantastic asset to the club. After Stoke got relegated last year, he wanted to leave and to get him for just £14 million is an absolute steal in my opinion. He was never really given the chance at Stoke to perform and I think Villa is the perfect club for him. Hopefully he doesn't do SO well that bigger English clubs come in for him though! That took our spending to just over £35 million, a club record for just one season of transfers. We made some great signings though and I can't wait to see them play. Next update, our pre-season results and maybe even the Premier League opener!
Oh and as promised, here's how the World Cup went in-game! Since the competition just started in real life, I figured you might want to know how it went in-game to see how it compared!

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2018/19 pre-season results

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A decent first game away in Spain for all the new lads, with Frenkie actually scoring the opening goal of the game as well! Overall it was a positive performance and I'm happy with how everyone played, especially with de Jong and Barkley scoring 2 of the 3 goals we got. The one big negative though is Grealish getting injured for so long in just our first game.He'll be injured until early September which means he'll miss our first few games in the Premier League, and that's hugely disappointing.

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Still in Spain and another great result! Barkley scores yet again but it's the lads who have been at the club for a bit longer who lead the line today against Cordoba. It was great to see Hourihane play that well since the fans seem to love him so much and just like all our older players, I hope he plays well in the Premier League this season.

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Just when I thought our pre-season couldn't get any better, we leave Spain to go to Italy and win 8-1!!! Incredible result and performances from everyone in the team and that is exactly what you want to see from your team just before a tough season starts. I was doubting Davis and was thinking of putting Berahino ahead of him up front but I think this has convinced me not to. What a player he is!

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Our last game was back at home in front of our fans and we got yet another great result, to end our pre-season unbeaten with some great results! Barella scored twice to make him a contender for Player of the Pre-Season with Hourihane and Agbonlahor scoring the other two goals on the latter's testimonial match with the club. He's been a great servant to the club but just isn't good enough anymore and he had to go.

Player of the Pre-Season
View attachment 48903#7 Ross Barkley
24 years old

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With an average rating of 7.97 from 4 games, Barkley deserves the Player of the Pre-Season from me. He scored 2 goals and made 2 assists in those 4 games as well and is really looking like a great player for the team for the season ahead. I was keen to sign some Premier League talents when we got promoted and he honestly looks like a perfect fit, so I can't wait for our opening game against Swansea now!
Big signings and for big wages! I could only dream of spending 100k a week on a player! Shows how big a club Aston Villa are if you can spend that sort of money on those big players already, KIU
Big signings and for big wages! I could only dream of spending 100k a week on a player! Shows how big a club Aston Villa are if you can spend that sort of money on those big players already, KIU
Cheers mate, tbh I'm really surprised considering I was given £1.5 million in my first season and then they just throw £40 million at me the next year! Pretty crazy but I'm hoping the signings will work out :)
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August 2018: a shaky start

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Ahead of our Premier League opener against Swansea, we needed all our players fit and ready to go but unfortunately, Brad is going to be out injured for the first 2-3 weeks. It's a shame because I was eager to give him a go and get him to improve over the next few games to see if I was better off starting him or Taylor, but I guess that'll have to wait.

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We were supposed to play just 2 games this month, both in the league, but we're going to have to face Cardiff in the Carabao Cup 2nd round before the end of the month. If you remember well, Cardiff beat us 4-1 last season in August which was humiliating, and facing them now will show us if we've actually improved since then or not!

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A disappointing start for us in the Premier League. We dominated the game but went behind early on and it was enough for the Swans to claim their 3 points. I'm pretty happy with our performance regardless, since I really feel like we played well. Having so many new players in the squad probably didn't help with the team cohesion to be honest and it might take a couple of games for them to get used to playing together. Once they do, I can't wait to see how they perform!

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We come away with a point for our first away trip in the Premier League and well, despite the good result, it just wasn't a good day for us. Grealish gets injured again and will be out once again for at least a month, de Jong will also be out for 2 weeks and Maresic will be out for at least 2 weeks as well. Kodjia stepped up to get us a point but it's just really sad to see so many injuries at once, especially for such key players. I really hope we do well without them in our next few games and that they come back 100% fit after the September international break.

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We got knocked out really early last season in the Carabao Cup but it won't happen this year! A fantastic 4-0 win over Cardiff sees us through to the 3rd round, still one round below the board's expectations. We have a lot of work to do this season, especially with all these domestic competitions coming up and the Premier League as well obviously, so it's good to see that even with slightly weaker teams in the cups we can get results!

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We're just 2 games in so far but it's not been the best start for us, that's for sure. It is reassuring to see the likes of Wolves and Tottenham with us down in the lower half of the table though, because they're both great sides and it shows that the first 2 games don't exactly shape an entire season. Our schedule for September looks pretty tough though, and we're going to need to work really hard if we want to edge away from the relegation zone.

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A home game against Watford to start us off, before having a 2-week break and coming back to play at New White Hart Lane where we'll face Tottenham of course. I spoke about both Spurs and Wolves when looking at the league table and we're facing them back to back, which should be really interesting. A nice little break from the league with a Carabao Cup game should allow us to take a bit of a breather before having to face Everton up in Liverpool. The Blues are in 5th and have had a good start to their season so it might be our toughest game yet.

Player of the Month:
View attachment 48843#22 Jonathan Kodjia
28 years old

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To be honest with you, Kodjia is the last player I expected to win player of the month after the signings we made, especially after coming on as a substitute in both of the Premier League games he played in but he was very good. With a goal and an assist in 3 games, he's not made the most amazing contribution but none of our other players actually stepped up other than Davis, who was also in the running for this month's award but just about missed out on it. Regardless, I hope we'll get better results in September and get a bit of form going, just like we did last season in the Championship!
Early days yet, sure you'll improve as the season goes on, could do without all them injuries though!
Early days yet, sure you'll improve as the season goes on, could do without all them injuries though!
Injuries always seem to be a problem for me with a save at some point. I always have that one season where my best players just get injured constantly and then it gets better so yes, hopefully no more big injuries now!
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September 2018: on our way up!

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After beating Cardiff in the 2nd round, we've been drawn against Bradford in the 3rd round. I'm not too worried about it, considering we beat Cardiff 4-0 and Bradford are a weaker side, but in English domestic cups you never know! We'll have to be careful about this game but I'm confident the lads will stay focused and get the result we need.

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Our first win in the 2018/19 Premier League season! And what a win it was! Kodjia won player of the month in August and he could be well on his way to get it yet again this month as he starts September off with a hat-trick against Watford. I don't really love the fact that we're conceding this many goals but if we get wins, who cares! A fantastic result at home against a strong Watford side in front of a packed stadium, in the rain. Wow!

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After that amazing result against Watford, I went to training with the players feeling really happy and finished the session not so happy. Davis is another casualty for us and it's yet another huge injury for us. He's been our starting striker this season and despite not having the easiest time in the Premier League yet, he is still a big loss to the team.

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What a result! Maresic is slowly turning into a fan favourite at this point and again, what a result this is for us! A 2-2 draw away in London is amazing, especially against a side of Tottenham's quality and we climb up to 11th with that draw. Grealish, finally back from injury, also came on the pitch to get us the point really late on, which was just pure Premier League drama.

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Another incredible result! Our second win of the season comes against newly-promoted Wolves, who we struggled against last year every time we played them. Berahino and de Jong were the heroes for us and I'm really starting to think that the signings we made are going to be amazing ones. We're now somehow in 5th in the league, which I would have never dreamed of at the start of the season! Our next game is against Bradford in the cup, before we meet Everton at Goodison Park.

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Well, just when you thought our injuries couldn't get any worse, we now lose Maresic for another 2-3 weeks... Thankfully we have backup for our centre-backs but this is just horrendous. How can we have so many players get injured all at the same time?! I think I might need to hire a new medical team to try to get all that sorted...

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Phew! It was close but we won it! Davis came back from his injury a little early and managed to get the man of the match award for this 3rd round game, which was nice to see. Our 4th round game, where the board wanted us to get, is against Manchester City. I think it's fair to say that the board will be happy with us exiting the competition in the 4th round. You never know, this is football after all and anything can happen but to be honest with you, I just don't see us winning this game against 2nd placed Manchester City.

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Wow!!! That's now 5 matches in a row unbeaten in the Premier League and our second win in a row, third of the season! To go up to Liverpool and play Everton in front of their own fans and win like that is an absolute dream. What a great result this was and what a game again for Kodjia, who just seems like he's never going to stop being the main man at this club! The red card against Everton in the 21st minute definitely helped us, but we were already 1-0 up by that point. Regardless, I'm so happy with our form and how we've turned things around!

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After now 6 games, we're in 5th! I find it funny that after 2 games, Everton were in 5th and we were in 16th and now we've basically switched positions. We're ahead the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham which is just ridiculous to me but again, it's only been 6 games. Next month will be tough for us but I think if we can keep up our form and keep playing the way we have been until now, we could get some great results against the bigger teams in the league.

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The game against Fulham should be pretty straightforward; we played them a lot in the Championship and know how they play. Our last 3 games in October however, against both Manchester clubs and both away games, could be really tough. I guess this will be our first real tests of the Premier League season and I think it will tell a lot about how the rest of our season will go. Get battered, we might still finish in the top half of the table if we play well against the smaller teams. Lose narrowly, draw or win and we have a big chance at finishing a lot higher up than 10th!

Player of the Month:
View attachment 48787#7 Ross Barkley
24 years old
Centre/attacking midfielder

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With 2 goals and 3 assists in our last 5 games, it's fair to say Barkley has been a very good player for us. Kodjia scored a lot more goals and was the second favourite for the award, but overall Barkley actually had much better games more consistently. I'm so happy we signed him for just £12 million and I can't believe how easy it was to get him from Chelsea. I'm sure they're looking at him perform now and thinking they made a big mistake in letting him go!
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October 2018: a month to forget

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Our good form in September got Maresic the Young Player of the Month award, which is really impressive considering players like Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sané are in the league. None of them in sight though with 3 boys from the promoted teams in the top 3! Frankie has also been immense but at least for him, there's been no interest from bigger clubs! Napoli and Real Madrid are said to be looking into Maresic which I hope to God they don't because what a huge miss he will be for us if he leaves...

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After a really average start to the season, it's nice for myself to get Premier League Manager of the Month after just 2 months in the league. And look at who I beat to the award! Klopp and Conte are two of the best managers around so I'm really, really happy.

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This game was supposed to be our easy game this month but with an injury, 2 red cards and an 88th minute miss, we could only get a 0-0 draw. This is just a terrible result for us, especially after the really good form we took into this game and with games against Manchester United and Manchester City now, it's looking like it won't be a great month for Aston Villa.

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As expected, a trip to Old Trafford against one of the best clubs in Premier League history was just never going to go well was it. With 2 of our starting fullbacks out suspended, we're now going to have to deal with yet another defender suspended. Since Chester's red card in this game, he's been given a further 2-match ban which is just horrible news. A terrible result to continue a seemingly terrible month.

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After having to travel down to Birmingham and then back up to Manchester, we kind of knew going into it we wouldn't get a good result. Being 2-0 down inside 10 minutes didn't help and it's another heavy defeat for us to finish off the Premier League this month with just 1 point, 9 goals conceded and 1 goal scored. On top of that, Hourihane is out injured which is just terrible news as he's been starting a few of our games this season and contributing greatly.

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Even at home we couldn't beat City. It was a much more positive game for sure but we lose yet again, this time in the Carabao Cup. I'm disappointed of course, but the board didn't expect us to get past this round so overall we've done well in the competition and we now get to focus on the Premier League and later on the FA Cup at least.

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Sitting in 13th after 9 games, I have to say I'm pretty satisfied. Despite a few great signings, our squad is nowhere near good enough to compete in the top half of the table in the best league in the world so I'll take 13th, although I wish we were doing better goal difference-wise like our promoted counterpart Wolves. Next month is looking tough, with former Premier League champions Leicester at home to start with, Burnley away later in the month and West Ham at home to finish it off. Leicester are in 4th, West Ham in 8th and Burnley in 12th. These are all games that I think we can get points from, for sure, but after our terrible run of form it'll take a miracle for us to get some good results in a row and manage to move up the table!

Player of the Month:
View attachment 48655#24 Dario Maresic
19 years old

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It was an awful month for basically everyone at the club to be honest, so it was hard to pick a player of the month. Maresic however, had the best average rating out of anyone, with a 6.9 from 4 awful games, pretty decent considering. At 19, he continues to really impress me and I'm so proud of him and how he's grown at the club. He's been a key player since his arrival and I really hope he stays with us in the long run.
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November 2018: getting away from the relegation zone

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I can tell you right now that November was a good month for us, and the first bit of good news is Davis renewing his contract yet again! He's not scored as many goals this season but has been crucial in our Premier League campaign and at 20 years old, still has a lot of potential and could become a lot better than he already is.

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Arguably our toughest game of the month today against Leicester but we've won it! We absolutely deserved the win in the end, as you can see from the stats and you can also see that not much happened other than Davis' goal in the 16th minute, which turned out to be the game winner. I'm not too bothered that we didn't score more because right now we just need points, and we just 3 of those against Leicester which is a great result.

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After recent rumours that Real Madrid and Napoli were looking into Maresic, I decided to give him a new contract not only to get those clubs away from him, but also to reward him for his good form. On top of that, his previous contract had a £10 million release clause but that has now been upped to £55 million so we know that if a club was going to go in and try to buy him, we'd get at least £55 million for him!

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We won what was supposed to be our toughest game of the month against Leicester but now go and lose arguably our easiest game of the month against Burnley. Don't get me wrong, a trip to Burnley is never an easy one but I really think we should have done better against them today. We went a goal down just before half-time which didn't really help to be honest but there's no excuse for not coming back in the game in the second half. With West Ham next, let's hope we get a better result then...

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We lost to Burnley, and now we lose Hogan for 8-9 months. He's been a key player for us this season when Grealish was injured or anyone else was suspended and can play up front or on the wings and to lose him for 9 months after a sharp turn in training is just ridiculous. We'll miss him a lot obviously and with his season over, we might have to look for a backup player to play in his place during the winter transfer window.

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What a win!!! Barkley, who's been such a good player for us this season, is now the club's top goalscorer of the season with 6 goals in all competitions and he's, on his own, just won us the game against West Ham! We've been really decent at home this season and this month was no different with 6 points from a possible 6 and what a great result this is against West Ham, seriously. They have a very good side and finished 17th last season so clearly have something to prove this season, but we beat them and get the 3 points ourselves to climb up to 8th in the Premier League! Incredible!

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December, just like any season in England, is always a big one. We're currently in 8th in the league after 12 games which is absolutely incredible to me, but next month is going to be a very tough one. We start with Newcastle away, and then have a series of tough games with Arsenal and Liverpool at home and Chelsea away to finish 2018 off. Our home record has been decent so far but these few games against those big teams might make that a lot worse to be honest. I guess we'll see where next month takes us.

Player of the Month:
View attachment 48622#7 Ross Barkley
24 years old
Centre midfielder

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With 3 goals and an assist in his last 3 games, Barkley is our November Villa Player of the Month. I think you all would've expected it since he played so well in those 3 games but still, I do have to announce it. His value has shot up from about £11 million when we signed him to now £21 million and it's on the rise every week so I really hope he stays loyal and stays at the club for a long time, because he has the potential to become the main man here at Aston Villa.
Nice to see Barkley playing so well. Couple of shrewd signings in January and if you avoid lots of injuries, you could have an outside shot of europe!
Nice to see Barkley playing so well. Couple of shrewd signings in January and if you avoid lots of injuries, you could have an outside shot of europe!
Don't wanna jinx it myself tbh, but it definitely is possible if we can get some decent results against the bigger teams in the league!
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December 2018: 'month of death'

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Ahead of our 'month of death', the awards for November came in and Barkley won the Player of the Month! Incredible stuff from him who's been performing so well and honestly, when you win an award ahead of Eden Hazard, any award, it's an incredible win.

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With some really tough games ahead of us, this was one of the games where we really needed some points and even though we got 1, I'm still a little disappointed. I'm really glad to see Barella playing so well but again, a point isn't the best result when we have games against Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool in the same month. On top of that, we're going to be losing Frenkie for the whole month, which is just terrible news...

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What just happened?! We have just won 3-1 against Arsenal!!! What an absolutely incredible result to continue our unbeaten run in the Premier League and our amazing form as well! Smith might be out for 6-7 weeks but who cares at this point! We've just won 3-1 against Arsenal! Grealish scored twice and he's my hero right now. What a result seriously. Sorry about what I said earlier about Smith, he'll be a big loss obviously but I'm just so happy about winning against Arsenal!

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An interesting draw for our first game of the FA Cup in January later this seas. Oldham aren't doing too well in League 1 and even though I'm confident we'll get a good result, I'm also a little worried that things won't go our way and we'll come crashing out of the competition so early on...

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We win 3-1 against Arsenal then draw 2-2 with bottom-of-the-league West Brom. What even... I don't know what to say. Fair play to West Brom for managing the come back but this was just an abysmal performance considering we were winning 2-0. We really need to do better against these smaller teams if we want to continue our good form and challenge for Europe!

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What an incredible result once again! In front of a packed Villa Park, we drew 2-2 with Liverpool despite conceding so late on in the 77th minute. What a great performance again. I'm really sad about Sessegnon being injured though, he's got so much potential and to lose him for so long is going to be hard, especially because he was a great backup right back. Regardless, I'll take a point against Liverpool! Incredible stuff from the lads and I hope we get the same kind of result against Chelsea!

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Finally a good away result! Brighton aren't one of the best teams in the league but to win 4-1 is always a great result. Maresic, Berahino and Barella were all fantastic and it gives me and should give the players a lot of confidence for our last 2 games of 2018 against Bournemouth and Chelsea.

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I have nothing to say about this game. Nothing at all. We should have won that, should be winning these kinds of games and I just want to apologise to the 40,000 fans who came to watch us draw against Bournemouth...

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We can't win them all I guess! After two good results against Arsenal and Liverpool, a bad result was coming and it was against Chelsea. Paulinho was very impressive and I can only congratulate Chelsea on a great performance from them. We finish December off with a bad result but at the end of the day, we've been really good so far this season and I wasn't expecting so much against the Blues.

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Leicester have a game in hand over us and could overtake us if they win it, but to sit in 7th halfway through my first Premier League season in charge of Aston Villa is more than satisfying! I'm really proud of how we've performed so far this season and as much as I want to just go on a break now, relax and come back roaring, we can't do that. Our next game is in a couple of days against Swansea and we're just repeating our first few games of the season now against Huddersfield, Watford, Tottenham and Wolves. We got some good results in these games and some bad ones, but I'm hoping next month will only have good results, especially in the FA Cup!

Player of the Month:
View attachment 48489#11 Nicolò Barella (on loan from Cagliari)
21 years old
Centre midfielder

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With 2 goals from 7 games, Barella doesn't look like he contributed the most but he's been a key player for us this month. An average rating of 7.4 from these 7 games which included 3 insane games against Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal, is enough for me to give him his first player of the month award at the club. He honestly has been incredible and I think Cagliari might be watching him right now thinking they've made a big mistake in allowing us to sign him for just £10 million at the end of the season!
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January 2019: European football next season?!

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Well that was unexpected! I know Davis had a good year last season but to get the European Golden Boy award ahead of the likes of Mbappé?! Incredible! He's just 20 years old and is still improving every week so I hope now that he takes this award and transforms it into further motivation to get to the top, because we might have one of the best English strikers in the world in our team soon if he continues like this!

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I'd be lying if I said I wasn't expecting this one. Kodjia had an amazing season last year and definitely deserves the award, although he did finish ahead of Aubameyang of Arsenal, which is actually really impressive! I hope for his sake that he continues this form into not only January but the rest of the season as well!

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Barella also won Young Player of the Month over another fellow Italian in Chiesa of Manchester United. Another great award for him and I still can't believe we're going to sign him at the end of the season for £10 million. He's worth at least double that with the season he's had so far!

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Well, well, well! Let's just say it's clear that we've found our feet in the Premier League! Swansea were our first opponents this season and they beat us 1-0 at Villa Park, so this definitely is an incredible result for us. Winning 4-0 away from home is an achievement, whether it's against Swansea or Arsenal to be honest. Grealish was outstanding and Berahino, who came close the player of the month a couple of times already, is starting to move up in the ranks and become one of the best players in this team!

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Wow!!! This was our second game in the Premier League earlier this season and we drew 2-2 away from home then, so to win so convincingly this time around is amazing! A 5-0 win with gouls from Davis, Grealish, Barkley and Barella secure our biggest win of the season in what truly was our best performance of the whole season, possibly our best performance since I took over at the club. What a game!

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Another incredible win for us, this time in the FA Cup! The board wants us to reach the 5th round and we'll be playing either West Ham or Oxford in the 4th round, so it could be tough to get there to be honest. I think it's fair to expect West Ham to get through against Oxford, which means a tough game awaits us in the 4th round. With the form that we're in though, anything is possible!

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Berahino with another man of the match award! I don't know what got into him lately but I love it! He's been scoring for fun and getting us wins left right and centre! Another win means we're now in 6th in the Premier League somehow and continue our amazing form. Up next is Tottenham, who are just above us in the league I believe, and it will be a huge battle for 5th place at this point.

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What is going on.... Barella gets man of the match this time but Berahino scores yet again as we now lie in 5th in the league after beating Tottenham 3-1!!! I can't get over how well we're doing right now, it feels like a dream! I'll take it though. The best part about this result by far is the fact that we didn't scrape a win, we deserved this result and to do it in front of 41,000 fans, most of them ours, is a great feeling.

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Well, I guess our good run had to end somewhere! I didn't expect it to come against Wolves, but they are the side that knows us best in the league after playing us in the Championship last season. Congratulations to them, they're having a great season as well and definitely deserved this result. We end January on a bad note but what a month we've had overall! At this rate, I'm seriously considering challenging for Europe now if we can get a couple of decent results against the top sides in the league, who knows where we might end up?!

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It's been confirmed that we'll be playing West Ham in the FA Cup and it'll be our first game of February. After our last defeat to Wolves, I hope the players will be roaring to get back at it and win against West Ham because we need to get to the next round of the competition for sure. In the league, our games against Everton and Fulham should be alright, we should be getting 3 points from each of those, but Manchester United, even at home, is a different story. They battered us 5-0 last time we played them and it wasn't nice to take. The fans who travelled were devastated but there weren't SO many of them. At home, most of the fans in the stadium will be ours so we'll need to do better for sure. How about that 5th place by the way?! After 24 games, we're in 5th place in the Premier League! Tottenham can still overtake us with their game in hand but even 6th is incredible! I'm so proud of this team and I hope we can keep this form up in the next few months to finish in the top half of the table.

Player of the Month:
View attachment 48153#18 Saido Berahino
25 years old

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With an average rating of 8.26 from 6 games, as well as 6 goals and 3 assists, there wasn't anyone who was going to win player of the month other than Saido. He's been outstanding this month and absolutely deserves the Villan of the Month for January. He's also become the club's top goalscorer for the season throughout January as well, which is great to see and I hope we can rely on him during February against the likes of Manchester United and West Ham to score some goals and get us some good results!
European football after your first season back in the Premier League will be awesome!