There was a time, when I was younger, when I remember travelling to Villa Park in expectation rather than in hope. I am thirty so I’ve not seen any great success at Aston Villa. Other than a couple of League Cup wins, I’ve not really seen us achieve anything noteworthy. Despite this, I used to go to Villa Park and expect to see us win. Under Big Ron, Brian Little and John Gregory and, to a lesser extent Marin O’Neill, I always fancied the team’s chances. We weren’t brilliant at home under O’Neill, doing better on the road; nonetheless, we always stood a chance.

Nowadays, I travel with little in the way of expectation and a hope that this time it will be different. Generally, it isn’t. In the last five campaigns the Villans have won twenty-three home games in the Premier League. From 2010-11 through to 2014-15 our home win numbers in the Premier League are eight, four, five, six and five, which is pathetic. Something has to change with Villa, particularly at home, or we will never amount to anything. Villa Park’s been the factory of sadness for far too long now. Over the last five seasons we have averaged 5.6 victories there. That is a shocking statistic.

I sat slumped in my chair at the final whistle on Saturday. I’ve become used to that fortnightly feeling of absolute dejection but it doesn’t mean that it hurts any less. I don’t think for one minute that Tim Sherwood is not hurt but he isn’t as hurt as myself and many other fans who have put themselves through this on a regular basis. He just isn’t. I still back Tim, I really do. Too often we are in flux and many of the problems at Aston Villa are not of his making. He carried out his remit last season and he gave me renewed hope. It’s the hope that kills you in the end.

I really felt that Sherwood was the man to sort our home form; I still hope and pray that he is. Three 1-0 defeats and a 2-2 draw with basement dwellers Sunderland doesn’t represent the heralding of the bright new era at Villa Park that I was hoping for. I can let the Sunderland game go as we really did enough to win that game and were unlucky. The three single goal defeats with no goals to show rankle more.

I’m standing by Sherwood for now. He deserves some good grace after keeping us up and I like the look of the new boys in the main. Unfortunately, it is going to take time for them and the team to settle. I just hope that when they do we can see serious improvements.

Tim Sherwood has made mistakes recently that he needs to learn from also. Some of the set-ups have been downright bizarre. I hope the Leicester City debacle hasn’t scared our manager into submission. I want to see the Tim Sherwood who sent his teams out with a swagger towards the end of the last season, when I was enjoying going to Villa Park again.

Conversing on Twitter, I stated that “I don’t know why we do it”. We do it through love and devotion to Aston Villa Football Club but if Villa were my wife I’d have been divorced by now, for the club mainly make me sad, but the fear of missing something also drives me on. Last season was grim, really grim. Nevertheless, being there for moments like the last minute penalty winner against West Bromwich Albion from Christian Benteke and the FA Cup semi-final victory made the previous pain worth it.

The international break has come at a good time for us: we need to re-group and for some of the players away on international duty it will be good to experience winning again. One thing is for certain: when they return they will need to pull Aston Villa Football Club out of the mire because a few more bad results could really see us cut adrift.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Villa problems as follows:

    1) Benteke situation allowed to drag on throughout summer- no replacement identified early.
    2) Two weeks before season start, Villa begin spending to bring in numbers.

    No full pre season means Villa squad unable to gel. Hence poor start to campaign.

  2. Great Blog Dan. It is so sad to be a villa fan right now and has been so for the last 5 seasons. We live in hope but I am not sure that Tim is the right man for the job. He did keep us up last season but I was embarrassed by our performances against Southampton and Arsenal in the Cup Final where Tim appeared to be tactically inept. Leicester this season left me completely deflated. Like you, I hope that Tim does cut the mustard; nobody would be happier than me. You’re also correct that he does not feel the pain of each loss as much as us Villa fans.

  3. YOU KNOW SOMETHING

    OK BLAME THE MANAGER.BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PLAYERS….? I NEVERRR HEAR THE PLAYERS GETTING BLSMMED…..WHYYYYY?

  4. Hey Dan,

    A really heart-breaking read mate. I was never fortunate enough to own a season ticket – my father was a rugby fan and only I really cared enough for it – but I continue to watch them week in, week out. As such, I feel your pain.

    I run a blog at https://loquacioussport.wordpress.com/, and so hurt have I been by this seasons results that I have not posted a single article since August 23rd. Like yourself, I too am sticking with Tim: perhaps I shouldn’t, but I genuinely like the guy. Unfortunately, as the demoralising results results continue I am seeing more and more tactical ignorance by the man himself, and I wonder if he has it in him.

    He NEEDS to stick to a formation and a squad (and one, I hope, that does not feature Bacuna); and Carlos Gil needs to start week in, week out. When he came on against Stoke he proved just how well he can move the ball around, and we need more of this.

    Given the choice, what would be your starting line up and formation?

    Keep your head up, and remember that we must stand as one, or we will fall as individuals.

  5. Really good read. The manager always seems to be in the spotlight until the players shine then its the brilliance of the players getting plaudits. However this is the worst squad I’ve seen at the villa and valiant losses won’t count for anything at the end of the season. I’m not convinced Tim Sherwood has the chops for this. UTV

  6. Good comments Dan. The results Tim got last season were from Lambert’s team. We know he can motivate but still seems to be learning tactically and has been outfoxed a couple of times. This is his team now so time will tell whether or not he knows a good player when he sees one. I’m holding my nerve and trusting him to come good.

  7. i,m a villafan from antwerp ,belgium for “35” years now,i was at anderlecht,was in ,,de kuip,,in r,dam for that famous win!i visit villapark 8 times,and it,s so emotional,to watch MY VILLA for real,the holte end,the fans,the stadium it,s something that is in my heart,just the same feeling that i ,ve for my daughter,in those days there was no internet,,gsm,smartphones only the bbc on the midwave at my radio!it took me almost 24hours to get to villapark,train,boat,train to london,than to b,ham newstreet,and believe me it was worth every second,i wish i could come more often to villapark,but with internet i watch Villa every week on my pc.So it,s every footballfan,s dream to win premier league,champions league,fa cup,etc but i,m so glad & pride to be a villafan,even if they played in the non league,it,s in my blood&heart and believe me VILLAwill be back,we must be patient,don,t spend money on players from france,etc believe in the villayouth,that,s the future!!!and in 2018 i will be back at villapark!!!

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