Is it possible to feel joy after defeat?

I've not posted in a few days, but considering the large number of posts over the past few weeks, I hope I can be forgiven. I'm now back at work and while my first love will always be football, and my team Aston Villa, I actually do enjoy my work, so football has had to take a back seat for the past few days.

With that written, I'm feeling full of happiness at the moment. It could be because of Adama Traoré signing and it could also have been the performance against Manchester United. Yes, the performance, because I saw things that were hugely positive that the likes of Traoré, Gill and Grealish will hopefully love to be part of.


I think also, for the most part, we had Manchester United where we wanted them and they didn't exactly shine or rip us apart. They didn't look like a side that was going to win the Premier League, not like Manchester City in the last two games anyway.

And I know it's early, but that is why we should also take comfort in our performances. These players haven't played with each other and it's going to take time and we have to be aware of that. Some of the comments I have seen so far, predominantly on Twitter, are frankly ridiculous.

Things are going to change soon too. When the three I've mentioned above are available, the entire formation is likely to change, but you have to wonder how. Will these three all start and if they do who do they replace? Does Gabby make way for Gil so we play with one striker and why would the manager drop Sinclair to play Grealish? I can understand why Veretout will make way for Traoré, but wasn't he purchased to play in central midfield, so does Westwood, who has just signed a new five year deal make way or will Gueye, who has looked decent make way?

There are now serious things the manager has to think about. These players have not all come here to play a bit part but will he be able to keep them happy by rotating them?

Let's look at the numbers

We have eight defenders that would all fancy playing. But it does look like we have two for each position. Competition is good.

We also have eight midfielders that would all fancy playing. And in this I'm not including the likes of Traoré because the club list him as a striker. Which means we have five strikers that will all fancy playing.

And you know what, I think with these numbers, we could all pick a starting eleven that actually we'd all accept and be happy with. Sure, we might pick Gil instead of Grealish or Grealish instead of Gil, but actually, you can look at the team and not be that disappointed at who is starting. Let's look at this starting eleven for a moment:

Bunn, Hutton, Clark, Baker, Richardson, Bacuna, Sanchez, Sinclair, Gil, Traoré and Gabby.

That isn't too shabby is it. But then you've got this one too:

Guzan, Crespo, Richards, Okore, Amavi, Westwood, Gueye, Veretout, Gil, Grealish and Gestede. And that eleven isn't too shabby either.

My point is, I can't pick an eleven that you'd disagree with 100% or not have some belief in. This is going to be tough for the manager to manage and it's going to be fun for us to watch. <7p>

Yes, it's possible

So we lost to Manchester United, but you know what, that's okay. Things are happening, the way we're playing football is better and there are more changes to come if you believe what you hear and as long as we've got players in the club that know this and are willing to fight, that's something we've not had in a while and it's going to be fun. How can it be anything else?