1. Best Victory: Aston Villa 4-2 Norwich City; 19th of August, 2017
There were not a ton of crazy victories to choose from. Until the beginning of the 2017/2018 campaign, Aston Villa failed to score three goals in a single game, settling for narrow 2-0, 2-1, 1-0 victories during an extended four-match winning streak in late March.
Perhaps the most impactful victory was a 1-0 defeat of Derby County on February 25th. James Chester’s lone goal catapulted Villa to top-six talk. The claret and blues cruised to successive wins over Bristol City, Rotherham United, sandwiched loss to Huddersfield, Sheffield Wednesday, Wigan Athletic, Norwich City and Queens Park Rangers. Aston Villa, once dead in the water, revived themselves that month until consecutive 3-1 defeats via Reading and Fulham all but sunk their chances.
But, the most impressive victory of 2017 belongs to a 4-2 win over Norwich City back in August. Conor Hourihane recorded the first Aston Villa hat-trick by a midfielder in over a decade against the Canaries.
2. André Green & company impress as youngsters push for inclusion
Undoubtedly, the youth push from Aston Villa Academy graduates belongs as a positive for the 2017 year. Before groin surgery, André Green, 19, was starring as an automatic starter on the left wing.
I wrote this back in March about Green’s development within the first team compared to his peers:
But it wasn’t just Green, either. Keinan Davis,19, impressed alongside Jonathan Kodjia in a dual-strike partnership until the Ivorian fell to another ankle fracture. While the goals have not exactly followed for the target striker, his talents had the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United sniffing around in October. Quite a jump after making his professional debut in 2017 after joining from Biggleswade Town the year prior.
Moreover, fellow teenagers Callum O’Hare Jake Doyle-Hayes, Mitch Clark, and Easah Suliman made their professional debuts in 2017. All played well in a 4-1 Carabao Cup victory over Wigan. An FA Cup tie against Peterborough in January offers another chance for first team action.
3. John Terry, Villan
Almost unfathomable until it actually happened, but John freaking Terry joined Aston Villa in 2017. Thanks to good ole’ pal, manager Steve Bruce, the Chelsea legend dropped divisions in order to extend his playing career without facing his former club.
Terry, now 37, has been absolutely huge since arriving in the summer. Until a broken metatarsal in November, Villa were in the top-four. An awful stretch of matches since then pushed the club out of the playoff zone during Terry’s absence.