Aston Villa: Four games done, how is it performing?

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At the end of the  four games, including cup competitions, Villa has won two and lost two. One win was after winning over Rotherham in the League Cup but a win is still a win.

The season began at a blistering pace with a surprise win over Arsenal  – at Arsenal – which sighted the club sitting nicely at the top of the league. Again, you take what you are able to get.

To be fair getting three points after three games would have been a good start seeing as Villa’s opening matches were against Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool – and it was a good job too, because that’s how it stayed.

Any neutral would have to say Villa were unlucky to come away with nothing against Chelsea, but no-one could say we deserved anything from our first game at home to Liverpool.

If you cast your mind back to last season the only real positive to come out of that match was the fact it was miles away from the terrible performance that saw us lose 3-1 at home in the opening game of the season against Everton.

That result quickly burst any bubble even the most hardened Villa fan had that we were going to surprise a few people during the 2011/2012 season.

The most positive aspect of the opening three league games has got to be how competitive the team has been. Although Arsenal underperformed, and we had a few refereeing decisions go our way, we won.

Despite losing to Chelsea and seeing a few refereeing decision go against us – we put up a great fight for the whole 90 minutes. And even though Liverpool were the better side for much of the match at Villa Park, we stayed in it and could have nicked a point.

Against Rotherham we actually kept a clean sheet – enough said.

The biggest fear for Villa fans this season will be whether the young squad is capable of keeping their nerve throughout the whole campaign.

We keep going back to it, but that run over Christmas last season – when we scored none and conceded 15 in the space of three games against Chelsea, Tottenham and Wigan – still plays in the back of our minds. But it’s so far so steady so the next big question mark is how we will perform against weaker opposition – only time will tell.

Having signed six new players during the close season a look at how they have performed is also worthwhile.

Antonio Luna could not have made a better start, flying towards goal and scoring the decider against Arsenal.  Unfortunately he soon picked up an injury.

Jores Okore had to briefly bide his time before the unfortunate Nathan Baker picked up yet another injury, but since he’s come in he’s looked a very solid player – especially as he’s only just turned 21. Baker and Ciaran Clarke will know they’ve got their work cut out to break up his partnership with Ron Vlaar, even at this early stage.

Leandro Bacuna looked a bit out of element against Liverpool but was a nice surprise starter at right back against Rotherham in the cup. He looked very accomplished in that position and although it was against lower league opposition, it’s great to know he can play there