As we enter the final third of the season, many villa fans would be forgiven for not being able to bet their mortgage on the finishing position of this once illustrious club. A season of cheers, jeers and some very well needed beers has not been one that will live long in the memory of the claret and blue faithful, however it has brought together fans from across the globe and now more than ever, the club that we support needs us more than ever.
I like to think of the remainder of the season as 12 games of Christmas. 12 games which can bring presents of joy and happiness, or 12 games which would be like receiving a lump of coal from your noisy neighbour. 12 games may seem enough time to turn this season around and to achieve mid table mediocrity, but my word what we fans would do to achieve that status now. Although, with our next 2 games coming against two of the more upwardly mobile teams (Arsenal and Manchester City), even the most optimistic of villa fans can’t exactly see us taking 6 points there, oh we can dream…
Therefore, based on that logic, we are down to 10 games to go. 10 games to not only save the season but in reality to save the manager his job and to save us some g from those noisy neighbours. It is of my opinion that 4 wins and 3 draws will keep us up so in theory 15 points, but hey, I’m not fussy ill just take 5 straight forward wins instead! Looking at the fixtures we have left then surely home games against Sunderland, QPR, Fulham are winnable and away fixtures at Reading, Wigan, Norwich and Stoke could see the return of some much valued points.
Having watched the villa almost every game this season, for me it is not a case of who we are playing. It is more a case of whether the players that wear the shirt come kick off are going to step up to the mark and fight like lions for the club. Inconsistency has been a common theme this season, a theme that can frustrate even the calmest of fans. Winning convincingly at Norwich in the Capital One Cup and then at Anfield were sadly followed by 3 hammering defeats and subsequent damage to our goal difference. How can I team win at Anfield one week and then concede 8 at Stamford Bridge next week I hear you ask? Well if only we knew.
There’s no doubt that when fully firing we have enough quality to be better that the fourth worse team in the division. Maybe not challenging for the European spots of yesteryear but at least battling to secure bragging rights of the midlands. Players such as Benteke, Weimann, N’Zogbia and Guzan have been a revelation this season and are a couple of few highlights from the campaign but at least it gives us hope.
It is of my firm belief that we will stop up, comfortably as well. Confidence should be oozing after the West Ham victory and Arsenal have to play two games before we travel to the Emirates so a positive result there could be the most important result of the season. Whatever happens though, the support will continue to be at its ever best and as fans we could be the tipping point when it comes to survival or the dreaded drop.