A very happy new year everyone.
Good riddance to 2012 as a Villa fan and lets welcome 2013. Yes we are unbeaten! Admittedly it was away to Swansea and I am disappointed that we couldn’t hold on for all three points, but lets face it, in the first 30 min we could have been 3-0 down so I will take the point, especially when other results went our way.
So then we have our next Premier League game against Southampton, I would almost call this a nine pointer rather than a six pointer. For me (at the moment) it is between us and Southampton as to who joins Reading and QPR in the Championship next season. I have a suspicion that Wigan are Wigan and will do their usual great escape act, although if I were Newcastle I would also be nervously looking over my shoulder.
However the Southampton game is part of 6 crucial games we have coming up. We have Ipswich in the FA Cup who could be a tricky team to beat given our current situation. We have two legs against Bradford to make the League Cup final. I really really wish we hadn’t already sent out promos saying buy your final tickets as that is a great way to fire up the opposition. We also have West Brom and Newcastle. Both of these games are winnable BUT West Brom on current form should wipe the floor with us and we do seem to play rubbish against Newcastle!!
So looking forward 6 key games and depending on how we get on, they could really help us to build on the mid season, get some momentum going and build up the confidence of the team. Let’s not worry about Chelsea in the final. (You see what I did there? COME ON SWANSEA!!). It will have been a great journey to get there and just remember when a certain Ron Atkinson out thought Man Utd to win us the League Cup.
Now I know this blog tends to draw in certain comments about blind loyalty but I reject that. I understand we have been poor and we haven’t got the points we should have. However this is a general acceptance from the media and in fact the bookmakers who think we will be all-right. AMC was negative in his tactics and we were moving backwards as a club. (Let’s see what happens at Forest). In PL everyone can see what we are trying to do. There are people who are saying he is trying to rebuild the club too quickly and in truth I think that is a fair criticism. We brought in 7 players and I think we can all agree that we probably need another 4-5 in Jan to keep us up. I am slightly concerned that we are looking at older Championship players for ‘experience’ where as I would possibly like a couple of workmen like Premier League players just to shore the team up.
This is another season of transition, but hey at least we are finally taking cup competitions seriously. We have a chance to maybe beat the odds. I think we will be fighting to the very end, BUT we will be a stronger team in the long-term for doing that. Remember Ferguson didn’t get it right straight away.
I see the vision and I will back PL however the one thing I will add that Lerner, you need to support your manager. I understand why you have cut back. I don’t think you have lost interest at all. I just think you have been given some bad advice. I will say no more than that.
UTV and in PL we trust.