Despite the recent loss against Cardiff City, there were certainly some positives stemming from the performance for Aston Villa. One of the big ones will be how the formerly exiled Gabriel Agbonlahor performed after coming off the bench, with the 30-year-old proving he still has some value in that squad.
For nearly a year now many have been saying that Agbonlahor's time had come and gone. Despite this, the former England international appears to have come out of the blocks fighting since the arrival of Steve Bruce at the club. Against the Bluebirds he looked sharp, focused and willing to give everything he had to get the victory for Villa.
General view before the game - Villa Park
It's always seemed likely that Agbonlahor would thrive down in the Championship, but the politics behind the scenes have never really allowed for that to come to fruition. The tempo, toughness and general nature of the division seems as if it would suit him to a tee and with the African Cup of Nations set to take Kodjia out of the picture for a few weeks, now is his chance to really shine.
Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor
The forward certainly peaked early in his career but at the age of 30, Gabby still has alot to give for Villa and manager Steve Bruce can clearly see that. Villa fans will be desperate to see other players up top making the fight for a place in the starting XI difficult, and with Kodjia missing such a crucial stage of the season the opportunity has well and truly been handed to Agbonlahor.
Upon his return the two could likely work together in unison quite nicely, but it's about making an impact right now for the former England man and that is what is expected of him. Given how poorly McCormack has been performing lately too, Agbonlahor is first in line for this chance, but such have the last two years been for the longtime Villa star, if he were to disappoint, that could be the final nail in the coffin.