Things are slowly starting to look a bit more positive.
Bruce has managed four points from his first two games and was the overseer of our first away win since last August. Keep it up, Steve.
Performances on the pitch and results in our favour are of course the most important factors on the fans’ enjoyment of games but I have realised there is plenty we can do ourselves.
I expect I am not the only fan who spends a lot of time trying to make myself feel better by comparing Aston Villa to other teams of similar stature. Rather than improving my mood, this has only made it worse in recent years.
This week as I looked at the Championship table I saw Newcastle United and Norwich City doing well at the top and Aston Villa a long way down.
The narratives at the start of the season suggested it was possible that these three teams could come straight back up. Norwich City and Newcastle United were obviously going to be two of the strongest teams in the league so I was of course going to look out for their results and performances and see how we compared.
Four or five years ago it always seemed to be between us, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton as to which team, if any, could crack into that elusive top four or at least reach Europe. At times, there is no doubt that we were the best of the three teams. There was also the nice factor that, aside from the old big four, we three were the only other teams to have had Premier League status since its inception. Of course, as our fortunes deteriorated it became agonising to continue comparing ourselves to the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Everton, both having good seasons in the top league still, with the former even competing for the title.
Then of course there are the comparisons with local rivals. Although there is no doubt which team is the biggest and ultimately the best in the West Midlands, our current predicament is giving our neighbours some ammunition. West Bromwich Albion is the Midlands’ representatives in the top league, an embarrassing fact, and Birmingham City sit fifth in the Championship, nine points ahead of us, which is disgraceful.
While it is very difficult, I have been trying in recent days to stop comparing Aston Villa to other teams. We are Aston Villa fans and nothing else matters. We have to get ourselves out of this situation – and we will. Looking at other teams is just depressing. We need to be comfortable with the fact that while we are experiencing some rocky moments, order will very soon be restored and the Villans will be where they deserve to be.
Let’s just hope Steve Bruce is the man to get us there so that we can regain some stability.