It is now almost mathematically impossible for Aston Villa Football Club to avoid relegation. As even the most optimistic fan has known for weeks, the Villans will be playing in the second tier for the first time since 1987, three years before this particular blogger was born. No longer will Aston Villa Football Club be one of the Premier League’s ever-presents, as that number drops to six.
It is now time to begin healing the rift that has developed between the fans and the players on the pitch. A simple start in that process would be for the caretaker manager, Eric Black, to stop playing the boo boys’ prime targets in Lescott, Guzan, Bacuna and Richardson. None of these players even have a future at the club so let’s just resign them to the scrap heap for the remaining five games and select people who care and who can get the fans back on side.
Lyden was the only player to receive a warm welcome during the weekend’s defeat to Bournemouth – and rightly so. The twenty-year-old worked hard and chased the ball, showing glimpses of his potential. Taking him off at half time was a poor decision. He should have been allowed the full game, with the ineffective Westwood being removed at the break instead.
A tough trip to Old Trafford, which has never been a happy hunting ground for the Villans, on Saturday gives Eric Black another opportunity to offer the likes of André Green and Kevin Toner game time. We have absolutely nothing to lose now and playing the youngsters would give the fans something to support rather than hurling justified abuse at the has-beens who have finally led this great club through the trap door into the Championship.
On a personal note, I couldn’t even bring myself to stand up when Ayew pulled one back on Saturday afternoon. What was the point? As good a goal as it was, it wasn’t going to make a difference. We have passed the point of no return. This is the worst team I’ve had to endure in two decades of attending games at Villa Park. Sadly, it is comprised of players either unwilling or unable to fight against the indignity of relegation.
Hopefully, we can look forward to next season and consider the prospect of winning more than three games. Who knows? In twelve months’ time we might even be celebrating a title win, although that seems a very long way off at present.