Twelve games

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Watching this season’s Premier League has been brilliant for most football fans. With twelve rounds of fixtures left, Leicester City Football Club still sits top of the league with three other teams following close behind. Any one of the top four can win the Premier League. Neutrals have been given some brilliant football to watch, as demonstrated by the latest ‘Super Sunday’, with Arsenal beating Leicester City with a dramatic final minute winner and Tottenham Hotspur beating Manchester City in the Citizens’ own back yard. Unfortunately, one set of fans couldn’t enjoy any of that excitement.

Being an Aston Villa fan this season has meant watching the underdogs consistently come out on top whilst we have consistently lost convincingly. I’ve had almost two weeks now to reflect on our six goal drubbing and, above everything, I think that the match gave everyone a sense of acceptance. There will be no great escape. So, ahead of today’s match with Stoke City, and for the rest of the season, I simply want to enjoy watching my team in the Premier League. Is that possible?

Very rarely has a season made for such hard viewing. I’m used to watching us lose but, almost from the start of this campaign, something has been different. Never have we looked so utterly passive on a weekly basis. If the team goes a goal behind, which it inevitably does, it’s hard to see the Villans ever coming back. The team has never looked like fighting for our survival, for this great historic club, at any stage during the season therefore watching the remainder of our games with the slightest level of enjoyment appears to be seemingly impossible.

I can’t see us going down with anything other than a whimper.

However grim our performances are, I do believe that it’s important to try not to let our final few games pass us by. I’ve accepted that our ‘highlights’ will soon be shown on Channel Five, just about, but I’m going to appreciate watching ‘Match of the Day’ as long as the Villans still feature on it. I don’t care if ours is the last game shown after we’ve limped to a 1-0 defeat. No amount of boardroom incompetence, social media meltdowns or criminal laziness from Gestede can stop me from appreciating Aston Villa’s place in the Premier League.

For our remaining twelve games, I’m going to cheer every goal twice as loud. We don’t know how long we may have to wait to have another season in England’s premier division so, until we’re forced to make the step down, it’s important to enjoy our time at the top. I think most have realised that protests are most certainly needed but, alongside this, fans need to continue to be Premier League quality. We may have the worst team in the Premiership but we’ve got the best support. Long may that continue!

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