A week and a half into the Premier League season and donners of horned-rim glasses from the coffee shops of Williamsburg to the record stores of Echo Park are already musing about a side on the rise – Aston Villa.
Perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point.
Villa are young. They’re exciting. And they’re fierce (yes, in both meanings of the word).
Throughout the course of the season a variety of clubs will rise to the forefront of intellectual football fans, it’s all about Paul Lambert’s wee Villans.
I’ve already written at length about how Aston Villa were done wrong by referee Kevin Friend in yesterday’s Chelsea match. That article got me all kinds of jazzed up so here are a few more thoughts on Villa and last night’s performance at Stamford Bridge.
Jores Okore, how I love thee
It took one and half matches and two injured defenders to get there but Jores Okore (pictured above) finally got his shot at strutting his stuff for Villa. It was an impressive display.
Entering the match in the 43rd minute for a bloodied Ciaran Clark – who had replaced the injured Nathan Baker in the Arsenal match – Okore needed no time to adjust.
No matter that it was his Premier League debut, that it was against the mighty Chelsea or that he had no time to warm-up. Okore immediately took to making life absolute hell for Demba Ba.
Following the match pundits were quick to note the obvious – that Romelu Lukaku is Chelsea’s best striking option up top. But one of the main reasons they arrived at this conclusion was because Okore marked Ba straight out of the match (and to be fair, did pretty well containing the wrecking ball that is Lukaku).
I’ll be surprised if the former F.C. Nordsjælland man doesn’t keep his spot in Lambert’s starting lineup going forward.
Welcome to the league, Tony Moon
In his Premier League debut against Arsenal last week, Spanish left-back Antonio Luna immediately became a household name after slotting home Villa’s third goal to defeat the Gunners 3-1.
It was a gut-busting, breakaway run seldom seen from a defender and a cool finish that you’d swear was hit by a striker. The effort was lauded ad nauseum and for his exploits Luna landed on just about everyone’s Team of the Week.
Six minutes into Wednesday’s game, however, and The Tale of Tony Moon took a harsh turn when the 22 year old couldn’t prevent his momentum from chesting the ball into Brad Guzan’s net.
Yes, the dreaded OG. He’s a tricky one to figure out – will sink his teeth into your tuchus when you least expect it. Welcome to the league, kid.
Christian Benteke’s calves
I’m not one who typically admires another man’s calves but when it comes to Christian Benteke, I can’t help myself.
They remind me of a woman I dated a few weeks back. Decent looking girl but a calveless wonder of the fifth dimension.
But that’s another story.
Point is ‘Tekers may be one of the most powerful strikers in the game but one place that juice ain’t coming from are those calves. Perhaps it’s those airplane hangar shoulders.