The current state of Aston Villa Football Club has made it difficult to write about anything positive. Supporters have only seen one measly league victory all season. With one win in the Premier League, I cannot help but think that things could have been so different, if only the team had kept hold of the lead at The King Power Stadium…
Just look at the two teams now. I am not saying that we would be at the top of the Premier League had we won that day – but we probably wouldn’t be languishing at the bottom of the table. It was Tim Sherwood’s tactical naivety that cost us that game, as well as other games.
We have put in some good performances over the campaign but even good performances do not guarantee results. Even when we do put in a good performance, it is only for part of the game. Look at the Newcastle United game, for example. In the first half we were atrocious and fans wanted the game to be abandoned. Then a new look, fearless Aston Villa side emerged in the second half and took the game to the Geordies. Both teams had chances to win the game but failed to do so.
Several players have wilted under pressure. There is one player who should carry and motivate the team – and that is Micah Richards. The former Manchester City man claims that his best position is at the heart of defence even though he does not have any positional sense at all. Ian Wright was right to criticise the former England international. Although Richards took exception to the television pundit’s critique, it should have been a wake-up call for the Aston Villa team captain. Instead, a week later, he was worse than ever.
Brad Guzan was once player of the season for the club but has since lacked competition for his starting spot and he is too comfortable. Yet again on Saturday, he was beaten at his near post, which is something that teams are now starting to pick up on. I can’t be the only one to get nervous every time the ball goes back to him; he is now a liability. His performance against Blackburn Rovers in the 6-4 thriller still gives me nightmares.
I feel that there are two players who can say that they have done their best and tried to change the club’s fortunes. They are Jordan Ayew and Jordan Veretout. They are creative sparks but the players around them let them down. Ayew has the work rate of Weimann but has much more quality than the Austrian. Veretout is dangerous at set pieces, which is something we have lacked since Ashley Young left for Manchester United.
It is going to be a remarkable turnaround if the club stays up this season. With eight points on the board after twenty Premier League games, it is unsurprising that fans are already planning their trips to grounds like Elland Road next season. The club is in a sorry state, courtesy of Tom Fox and Randy Lerner. These men have torn the club apart. With relegation looming, we can only hope that Aston Villa Football Club, once a proud, respected English football club, can re-emerge from the shadows.