John McGinn jokes he's 'banning the T word' at Aston Villa

John McGinn jokes he’s ‘banning the T word’ at Aston Villa as he brushes off talk of being potential challengers for Man City’s crown… as Unai Emery insists his high-flying side are ‘there because we deserve it’

  • Aston Villa beat Arsenal 1-0 to tighten their grip on a Champions League spot 
  • John McGinn has banned talk of a shock title push despite his side’s strong form 
  • Man City have dipped, but Gary Neville is WRONG to say they’re complacent – Listen to It’s All Kicking Off 

John McGinn has jokingly insisted he is banning any mention of a shock title push at Aston Villa despite their 1-0 win over Arsenal cementing a top-four place.

Villa captain McGinn’s first-half strike earned his side a crucial three points and secured the club a record-breaking 15th straight home win in the Premier League.

The full-time whistle was greeted with a foundation-shaking roar from the home crowd and Villa, against the odds, are now just two points adrift of the summit.

Their victory came three days after they also downed Treble winners Manchester City in the Midlands, meaning they have already beaten last season’s top two.

Crucially, Villa have made their best start to a season since 1980-81, the year they last won the title – though McGinn revealed he is keen to keep his team-mates grounded.

John McGinn has jokingly insisted he has banned talk of a title push at high-flying Aston Villa

McGinn proved to be Villa’s captain fantastic after scoring the first-half winner against Arsenal

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He did, however, also admit Villa’s targets for the campaign have now changed.

‘I’m banning the T word. It’s game week 16,’ McGinn said. ‘So there’s a long, long way to go. And like I said, we respect everyone round about us, who have been in these positions for years. They are so experienced in it. We are newbies, can we keep up? 

‘I don’t know. We’ll see. Hopefully. The targets have certainly been revised, whether that’s as ambitious as what you’re trying to force, I mean, I don’t think so. But we’ll take a couple of days. We’ve got a game on Thursday in Bosnia. 

‘Hope it’s not too cold to try and get get first in the group and then we’ll reevaluate for next week. We’ve actually lost Luca and Douglas I think for the Brentford game, we always have a really tough game there. 

‘So it’s getting our minds back on it and in trying to improve our away form which isn’t horrendous but it can be improved.’

Unai Emery, meanwhile, believes his outfit are flying high in the top-flight on merit.

‘Yes, it is better for us,’ he said. ‘We are there because we deserve it. 

Manchester City are the reigning Premier League champions but Villa are just two points adrift

Unai Emery believes Villa are sitting comfortably in the Champions League spots on merit

‘They are going to speak more about us. It is still going to be the same message I am sending them, sending you [the media] and to the supporters. 

‘We have to be excited, we have to be motivated. We are now in third but there are still seven teams who are bigger contenders than us to be in the top seven. 

‘If we are getting to the 30th or 32nd game of the season, in the same position, I can send another message.’ 

Villa, who now hold an eight-point advantage over fifth-placed Tottenham, return to action at Brentford next weekend after their midweek European adventure.


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football, launching with a preview show today and every week this season.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube , Apple Music and Spotify

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