I had a bet yesterday. It was 50/1 on us, Manchester City, Newcastle and Everton to win. I came close. Today I've got Southampton, Liverpool and Spurs at 3/1 thinking I might make my stake back. It's all about the little wins.
And sometimes, to just beat the bookie, I have to accept placing a bet with little return, because it makes sense and is part of something bigger. But I'm a gambler and I like finding those bets that give me 50/1 odds. But when it comes to betting, I don't like to lose and that is why I'm betting on what I'm betting on and a nice wedge on Southampton to win also.
I also don't like betting on draws because I like to bet on teams winning. There is something about betting for a draw that doesn't feel right. I know that I should and yesterday, I wanted to bet on Manchester City to draw and I nearly did. But my gut was telling me that it wasn't right. I should have.
Thick line between right and wrong
And my gut tells me that exact same think about Trézéguet. I didn't really see what he brought to the team last season. Sure, I get the goals, but I'm talking about actual team performances. And when I watch him even now this season, I see why I thought that. But he is turning out to be one of the most underrated players we have in the squad.
Now, don't get me wrong, this isn't me saying he should start every game, this is just me accepting that he does add something to the starting eleven, that is hard to quantify. Yes, he runs and runs and maybe that is enough with the odd goal.
And he does seem to score those goals. I wrote last season that I thought he should be playing as a central striker and I still think that is a good shout. But he also has to stop falling over as easily as he does or at least wait for proper contact and not to try make it look like contact. Yesterday he was missed, but Traoré also put in a shift and it's going to take him time to settle and find his feet and Trézéguet is the reason why I'm not going write anything about Traoré.
But you can see he has quality, even if it looks like his control is a little off and he's still learning to pass. There was a moment yesterday on the left wing where him and Jack played a one-two that was only possible because he and Jack saw it. That will develop over time and if he's given it, I believe he will come good.
Talking about time and quality, El Ghazi yesterday showed why he's an important player for us. I'm still a little baffled as to why Trézéguet got the nod over El Ghazi this season, but either way it was nice for him to come on and get the winner. I have to tell you though, when he was going to take the penalty, I was wondering why it was him.
But it turned out good and I bet there were a lot of Aston Villa fans questioning why he was taking it. I wouldn't have been surprised if Dean Smith was questioning it too. But there is something about El Ghazi that is telling me he just needs a little more time and a little more guidance.
You need to grind out results sometimes
So I think it fair to write that yesterday wasn't the most creative performance we have or will see from Aston Villa, but also that it was a fairly solid performance.
The standout player was Martínez and that also isn't the first or last time I will write that this season. And that's a demonstration of why even though it is a team game, you need individual players to have one of those days. Yesterday, there was nobody else that did and if Martínez didn't, we would have lost.
And not every player that starts can have one of those days that mean we win or don't lose. Sure, it can be the keeper or a central defender, but if it's one of them the chances are they saved us from losing. Occasionally, we can win, like yesterday, but that just goes to highlight we were fortunate.
We need it to be a player in the middle of the park and yes, I know this is easy to write, but it's what we need.
We have the players
The hard part is that it isn't just about the one player we want to have a standout performance. Every other player has to be at their best too otherwise, the standout performance counts for nothing. The thing is, they don't know what they have to do to get that little bit extra and that's why it's hard. It's also why players have so many superstitions.
It's why football is tough and at the same time, why it isn't. It mimics logic and there is a map and large number of things to be aware of, mostly numbers. But there is also that part, that can't be understood by numbers. That's the magic place and it's what makes players great and why many don't go on to achieve what they could. It's also why certain players always get selected for the national team and why Gareth Southgate is doing well and why he will likely fail.
If you figure out the science in the magic, you'll walk on water because every player is different. And that is why it can be so frustrating sometimes. We've got so many players that should be able to share this responsibility and everyone else just has to give 100% to the team. But we're 7 points better off this season to last season and things are looking a lot better.
And I have a feeling it's going to get better next season too, but before that we have Burnley on Thursday and I expect the win. But this is the Premier League and we need every player to give 100% to the team and we need to hope that there is that one player that stands out.
So until them, I'm going dark. I say dark, I've bought some wine a while ago that I had forgotten about. I opened a bottle on Friday and it was lovely. I'm thinking I open another now, while watching the football and making Sunday lunch. Maybe I'll even fall asleep a little early tonight, having won my money back.