A lot of people had written off Birkir Bjarnason this time last month. For many, myself included, he was very much like a Greek God: the ideas still permeate society, but they’re not at the forefront of many people’s minds. He was a forgotten man.
It appears that the Icelandic midfielder had also begun to write the final chapters of his short and uninspiring mythology at Aston Villa. This morning, a publication based in his homeland, Morgunbladid, released an in-depth article. It revealed that Bjarnason was intent on leaving ‘only two to three weeks ago’.
Change of Heart
Nonetheless, the player has now decided that his imminent future remains at Villa Park. Featuring in the last four league games, it was his half-time appearance at Nottingham Forest which overnight appeared to revitalise his Aston Villa career. After Glenn Whelan felt an injury during the break, the ‘former’ utility-man stepped into the deeper-lying central midfield role with ease. This performance earned him a start against Barnsley in the same position last weekend.
The Position of the Club
The Birmingham Mail provided the supporters with a useful, translated version of Bjarnason’s interview. On an individual level, it is pleasing that the midfielder is finally able to answer any criticism. This has slowly crept his way since arriving at the club. Equally, his words also speak volumes for the (positive) state that the club finds itself in currently. A run of four wins on the bounce has already occurred this season and will likely need to happen again if automatic promotion or even a spot in the play-offs is to be assured. However, Bjarnason is adamant that Aston Villa are ‘the best choice’ for him. He continues to suggest that Villa ‘have a really good chance of doing something great’.
Let us not forget, Bjarnason has still only started once since defeat to Reading at the start of the season. Of course, the Icelandic midfielder has staked his claim and now has a good chance at retaining his place. These words, however, suggest that even being in with a shot of playing in this current Aston Villa side is exciting players.
The fans are noticing positive strides both on and off the field. There is a true togetherness amongst the players for the first time in many years. Also, there is a real sense of meritocracy which is encouraging the players to push themselves for a spot.
These things matter to fans and players alike.
Keep Pushing on, Bjarnason!
Therefore, what still would appear to be a sudden change in heart regarding Birkir’s future actually further cements the positive feelings that seem to be emitting from the club. Juxtaposed with Scott Hogan’s recent words, Jack Grealish’s resurgence and Alan Hutton’s unwavering desire, Aston Villa’s squad is finally brimming, not with individuals, but with a team who want to do the best for the badge. On top of that, the board are making sensible decisions to the benefit of the club. A recent, and seemingly credible link, with Robin Van Persie was squashed. This would have made little sense to add to an already aged squad.
Whilst Bjarnason’s words might immediately appear to relate to his own future, they encompass a larger reflection of the current course of the club.
Fingers crossed then, that the Greek God of Thunder does not sink the ship…