|Eck's shining light of stability|
|Agbonlahor and Bent developing a partnership|
It's important to remember what a proven striker we have and but for his checkered Tottenham career, Bent may have been playing for another top four team now, instead of arriving at Villa via Sunderland.
In defence, Villa have capability, talent and experience but lack confidence. But as results improve, so will form and as the season develops, so will fitness. There's nothing wrong with the reputation and commitment of players like Dunne, Collins, Warnock and great new keeper, Shay Given. Fans are calling for Collins to be dropped, but his early season progress has been hampered by injury.
The only legacy of the Houllier period was his commitment to youth. So many players staked their claim to the first team - and for one reason or another, they've slipped out of the reckoning. But Chris Herd is one player who's not only showing what a fine prospect he is, he's also creating competition at the back: so key to a developing squad.
I take Villa to continue improving and for Alex McLeish to look back at his first season in charge at Villa Park to finish higher than last season's stunted ninth place.