Since our last meeting with WBA, Aston Villa have gradually slipped away from the playoff positions. It now could be deemed as make or break time in our season.
Following the victory over Swansea on Boxing day, we sat just three points outside of those playoff positions. During the eight games since, we have averaged a point a game and now find ourselves seven points off the playoffs.
During those eight games, we only one won game and that was against basement boys, Ipswich Town. Apart from Sheffield United, the other six opponents sit below us in the Championship. It hasn’t been great and now we come up against those in and around us.
This is why is it make or break time. Dean Smith has made a big point about sides above us having to come to Villa Park. That starts with West Bromwich Albion today. We need to string some wins together. If we fail to do so, then we will almost certainly be in the Championship again next season.
If we fail to pick up maximum points over our local rivals today then I feel any hopes of making the playoffs would be over.
Give Smith time.
Some sections of the faithful have already started to get on the back of our manager. For me, he needs more time and we shouldn’t judge him just yet.
As Villa fans, we have gone through a torrid time over the last few years. We keep hearing we should be in the Premiership but the league doesn’t lie. We are where we are because we haven’t been good enough.
Smith has come in and along with the new owners, want to change the philosophy at the club. This takes time. The squad is ageing and many seem to struggle in the system Smith wants to play. Maybe Smith needs to change his style short term to manage the players he has, but that’s for another article.
There have been signs of improvements and with a good summer behind him, I fully expect us to be pushing next season. We went to Brentford with a game plan of trying to shut them out as he knew he didn’t have the players to out pass them. Despite the defeat, it could be argued we had the best chances – we just didn’t take them.
If we don’t make promotion then let’s allow Smith to rebuild the squad in the summer – which will be a massive task. Allow him a good chunk of games to see where we are at then. Let’s see.