After Saturday’s thumping at the hands of Everton, I was wandering through Shrewsbury with my better half and she asked why I was so quiet. Was it the football?
The answer, of course, was a resounding yes. I wasn’t angry, upset or even disappointed. The result was met with the sullen acceptance of yet another defeat, a sense of familiarity and a begrudging realisation that the team is just not good enough.
I have have previously mainatained that I thought that this side was better than a relegation fight. Now I am doubting myself. Taking the claret and blue tinted spectacles off for a minute, I can see a squad that’s devoid of confidence and proven Premier League quality. The only Premier League experience, Micah Richards aside, comes from a group of has beens. There is no natural leader in the pack, no goal-scorer and no commanding defender capable of taking responsibility and organising the back line.
On the current evidence, it looks like Aston Villa will be playing in the Championship next season. That is the cold, hard reality that all Villa fans need to digest. We are not “too big to go down”. Of course, I am not giving up. I will still be there in my Villa home shirt virtually every weekend shouting my lungs out, hoping for something, anything, that will bring a change in fortunes.
The Manchester City game wasn’t terrible but the sense of optimism it brought stemmed from an isolated game and the arrival of a new manager. Isoolated results won’t do; we need consistency now more than ever, especially when you consider that no team has ever had five points after thirteen games and remained in the Premier League.
It is my opinion that massive sums of money need to be spent in January to give the Villans a glimmer of hope of staying in the Premier League, as I don’t believe any manager could get this squad to perform consistently in this league. There simply isn’t enough quality in any position.
Looking back at some of the games played under Martin O’Neill, I see vastly superior Villa teams. There was desire, pace, organisation and a clinical edge, with players taking responsibility.
The Everton game merely highlights how far we have fallen. Everton is a side that for years we were on a par with. Once having scrapped with them to get into the top six, the Toffees are now beating us at a canter.
Unless things change very quickly, there’s some exceptional luck or Garde performs a miracle and proves me wrong, it looks very much like Aston Villa Football Club will be relegated for the first time in my life, which is a depressing thought.