Aston Villa are riding high and wild in the English Premier. The Martin O’Neill managed side are currently 7th in the league table with 27 points from 15 matches and only goal difference separates them from a UEFA Cup place.
Aston Villa play in the lunchtime kickoff against 6th placed Portsmouth on Saturday and they will be much encouraged by the English Premier League awards for November that were presented on Friday. Martin O’Neill was adjuged as the Manager of the Month and Aston Villa’s best player since last season Gabriel Agbonlahor was honoured with the Player of the Month award.
This is the second time that O’Neill has won the prestigious honour as the manager of Aston Villa and has also won the award on three other occasions. There was of course a stiff competition from Arsenal manger Arsene Wenger in this particular category but Villa’s 4 wins in a row and the 11 goals that they scored in November was enough to convince the jury that O’Neill was the best manager last month.
But O’Neill is not letting all this thread its way to his head. The Northern Irishman is quite modest about his achievement with Villa and underpins that there’s still a lot of work to be done before they can crack open the champagne bottle.
This is what Martin O’Neill told BBC Radio West Midlands:
We’re particularly pleased, obviously delighted with Gabby because he’s playing out of his skin at the moment. And if we can just keep a bit of consistency going, I think that’s really important for us, especially over this crucial period of Christmas and New Year. It’s been a really good month for us, November. I was naturally very concerned about it beforehand, when we had three away games on the trot. So for us to come out of that having won all the games in November was obviously particularly pleasing.
For youngster Agbonlahor of course, this is the first time that he has been chosen as the Player of the Month. For those who have followed the England U21 international’s progress since last season would tell you that this was always an inevitability waiting in the wings to come out into the sun at some point. Agbonlahor has been so successful at Villa in the last several months that he has already been hailed as a key figure of the future England set-up under a new coach.
So what does the future hold for Aston Villa and their star Gabriel Agbonlahor? Can Villa really grab a UEFA Cup spot at the end of the season? Or will they, like last season, somehow lose the plot and cushion themselves in the middle of the table?