It’s been a while since Villa fans experienced genuine excitement and intrigue heading into a new season. Under Paul Lambert in particular there were shrugs of the shoulders from many supporters as we kicked off, especially following limited, uninspiring summer transfer activity. Aston Villa Football Club had lost its swagger and sexiness.
We were no longer anyone’s second club, with the mutual fan love for the likes of John Carew and Ashley Young having vanished, and the media really distanced themselves from us before sticking the knife in on a regular basis – a trend that is still simmering away as several pundits have already written us off because we no longer have Christian Benteke whilst completely overlooking the nine players purchased. These predictions are quickly put together with barely any research having been conducted and Charlie Nicholas from Sky Sports epitomised this by writing that Nathan Baker is our ‘player to watch’, which is rather embarrassing.
If these so-called experts had bothered to do a bit more work, they would have noticed that season ticket sales are at a ten year high, we have a relatively new manager and backroom staff and the majority of fans are very happy with the summer transfer activity to date. Jordan Amavi and Idrissa Gueye stand out and are my picks to be huge players for us over the next few seasons.
I am on the edge of my seat and can’t wait to see which players Sherwood picks in his first five games as he settles on a first XI. There is going to be a bedding in period for the team but, if we can build up some momentum, we potentially have a team that has real swagger.
We will be fun to watch this season and we have some genuinely exciting attacking players including Carles Gil, Scott Sinclair, Jack Grealish and Jordan Ayew whilst the highly-rated Jordan Vertout will be one to keep an eye on as Rudy Gestede has the job of making the step up from the Championship to the Premier League. I expect one more player like this to come through the door as well.
At the moment, like most, I have absolutely no idea where the Villans will end up in the league table come next May but I have a feeling that we may become a few people’s second team again…