Aston Villa Football Club is a big fish. There is no doubt about that. At the moment, however, for a variety of reasons, we have found ourselves out of our depth.
Aston Villa Football Club will, barring a miracle, be leaving the Premier League in May and the move down to the Championship could offer the respite we need.
There is no doubt that we will be one of the biggest names, if not the biggest, in that league next year. It is up to us to live up to that billing.
Looking at the teams currently in the Championship and safe for next year, we will be playing comparatively small teams such as Huddersfield Town, Brentford and Brighton and Hove Albion.
Looking like they may come up from League One, we have Burton Albion, Gillingham and Walsall.
We should make it one of our top priorities to ensure that Villa Park is the intimidating fortress it deserves to be. Some players appearing there next year will never have played in such a big stadium and, as fans, we have a big part to play in creating an atmosphere that opposition players will struggle in.
There are plenty of aspects we need to get right next year if we are to come straight back up. I have picked out three.
Firstly, and most obviously, our club needs to be run properly. No one truly knows what is happening behind the scenes but the first team’s form proves something is fundamentally wrong. I think it could have something to do with the powers that be deciding we are down and out and preparing for next year. If this is the case, they need to follow through or face a full scale revolt from all who love Villa. They need to be working on their strategy for next year and if that plan involves anything other than promotion and a return to the Premier League we may as well all give up.
Secondly, what the Championship may lack in quality compared to the Premier League it certainly makes up for it in competitiveness. Our team needs to have a steely determination that has not been there for the last few seasons if we are to have any chance of bouncing back up. More games and more teams equal in quality means we cannot afford to give anything less than 100%. Player acquisition will of course be crucial as the year will be even harder on the players’ bodies than they are used to.
I alluded to the third point earlier: as fans, we can have a massive impact. If we let these opposition teams know who they are up against then it will be really difficult for a lot of them. Villa Park can be a really intimidating venue for a lot of players. This includes ours so we must also remember to support our lot as much as intimidating the others.
It is depressing that my blog is now focused on next season but that is the situation we are in so we have to make the best of it. The best outcome would be a year of wins, with the feel good factor being brought back to our brilliant club.