Who better to ask about Aston Villa than our Villans-supporting SB Nation counterparts? We spoke to @JamoRushton - editor of the excellent site 7500 To Holte (@7500ToHolte) and host of The Holtecast (also of @SpideyPodcast - man of many talents!) about the claret and blues’ chances going into Tuesday night’s match.
How’s the season gone for Villa so far?
Honestly, despite the doom and gloom, we’ve done well. I’m disappointed that we aren’t challenging for automatic promotion, but hey, this league is nuts! The season has had plenty of highs, so I’ll roll with the punches and accept it. It could be so much worse for us.
We started off badly before going on an incredible streak in 2018 that took us right up the table. Since then, we have went right off the boil.
What’s going right for you right now?
Robert Snodgrass and Albert Adomah. The pair on the wings have been responsible for most of our final-third production this season. Snodgrass, especially is a danger as he just cannot be kept out of the game.
What’s more, Sam Johnstone and James Chester at the back are players who are so far beyond this level, I find it unacceptable that they are playing in the Championship. They can be so good!
And what could be going better?
Jack Grealish has went slightly off the boil as of late and cuts a frustrated picture. He’s Villa, so you can tell that he’s upset at not battling for a top two place. That frustration is affecting his game right now.
What’s more, we seem to have just taken a step back up front and we are seriously under-performing in front of goal. If we took a chance once in a while, we wouldn’t be three games without a win. I wish we’d just put a boot through something.
Do you have any memories of Villa/Reading games from over the years that stand out, for good or bad reasons?
It’s mostly been bad for us, hasn’t it? I think our game at the Mad Stad last season was important as it was our first away win in AGES. It defined a new era for us.
Then the same fixture this season saw us start off the season terribly. I hope for a bit of revenge. You caned us earlier this season.
How do you see the game going, and what will the score be?
Look, we need a win. I think we can both say Reading have took a number of hits this season, and Villa need to pick it up. I want to put three goals past you, but I would not be at all surprised if it’s a 1-1 draw. Paul Clement is a smart coach and won’t be a huge departure from Jaap Stam, so I’ll be looking for him to exploit Villa.