Every week my team seems to find a new way to be defeated. I’m struggling to come up with new ways to to sum up what a miserable existence it is being an Aston Villa fan. Class may be permanent. Form may be temporary. All the same, this temporary misery feels permanent.
The truth is that, up until Ayew’s moment of madness and subsequent sending off, we were looking good. Denied a blatant penalty by the buffoon that is Jon Moss, we were causing the Hammers problems. Even the much maligned Agbonlahor looked lively. However, we didn’t score when on top and Ayew then took the game into his own hands.
Many of the games we have lost this season have been down to diabolical defending. This cannot be denied. On a night when the defence was fairly resolute, possibly our only shining light of the season proceeded to lash out. Elbowing someone did not seem to even be a foul a few weeks ago when taking on Leicester City and Robert Huth. There is no denying that Ayew deserved to go, although the inconsistency of Premier League officiating really annoys fans.
Ayew’s idiocy will obviously be seen as the turning point but the Moss’ failure to award a penalty following Antonio’s handball turned the tide before Ayew walked. Again, a few weeks ago a debatable handball decision led to a penalty for Leicester City. The more obvious handball last night was ignored by the officials. We are rank, a poor excuse for a football club at present, but there is no denying that we enjoy little luck. It has evaded us for most of the campaign.
As this disastrous season continues to unfold, leaving me feeling more and more alienated from the club I love so much, there has been a feeling of respect for the way our manager has handled himself. He has made mistakes and we probably should have won a few more games under his stewardship but Garde has been honest, has not hidden and has stood up the powers that be at the club.
I fear that Garde may walk away. I’m certainly at the point where I cannot imagine him being here next season. He doesn’t need this. Some may say that his departure would be a good thing. I don’t believe that any good would come from yet another manager leaving us, especially one with a backbone. I do take issue with his decision to bring on Kieran Richardson as an attacking substitution when we were in need of a goal but that’s by the by.
Another game has passed. Any real chance of staying up that we may have had has gone, in my opinion. The board members obviously feel the same after our “dry January” transfer window. The fact that we didn’t bring anyone in and that nobody even wanted to take any of our players is depressing. We failed to signal that we had any intention of staying up, whilst also managing not to show evidence of planning for the Championship.
Aston Villa Football Club has so many issues that someone could write a series of books on the club’s problems. One that stands out for me is that we are always in a season of “transition”. We haven’t been out of “transition” since Martin O’Neill left.
Our next transitional period is going to be in the Championship. It’s always “next week” or “next year” at Aston Villa. The “here and now” is that we are rotten to the core.
There will be no Leicester City style fairy tale escape for our team; our genre is horror. I fear the chapters to follow this miserable story will only become more gruesome.