By Chris Budd
Last season’s festive wish list made for rather grim reading and a very barren spell at Villa Park, especially in the final half of last season, things went from bad to worse in a quite pantomime-esque pattern of downward spiral.
2016 saw in-fighting between players and fans at Wycombe after gum-gate, abject performance after abject performance, relegation under a cloud of ownership and behind the scenes chaos, an eventual sale and supporter protests. It also saw four different Villa managers and a new owner come in.
Meanwhile, the home and away following unfortunately travelled home on the end of a fair few hidings (not tidings of joy). The recent upturn in the Championship has been something of a light at the end of the tunnel, as has the off field activity – now we enter what could be the most important 12/18 months in the recent history of AVFC.
Now down to business…
I know I was outrageously demanding last year and to be fair Santa, you did deliver me a new owner, but you also delivered yet another faulty new manager and the stand-in wasn’t much cop either, then the ‘Made in Italy’ new guy came in some fancy packaging, but ultimately was also a dud. In simple terms Mr Kringle, please don’t let 2017 be a false dawn.
I don’t expect Villa to be bigger than Barcelona anytime soon (like the good doctor told me we could be), I’d just like to be able to enjoy not being the festive rear end of the donkey and the butt of all jokes.
Santa, I’ve put the hard yards in this year, I promise…if you get my mob of merry gentleman back to where we should be I promise you two glasses of cherry, an extra mince pie and the biggest carrot ever for Rudolf – come on big man!
2016 Villa Supporter Christmas List
- Promotion – Santa this is the be all and end all if nothing else, we need this. Don’t even bother with a bow or the gift wrapping, I’ll take a messy damaged gift box (play-offs), but please deliver.
- I asked for this last year and you didn’t deliver, but if you PLEASE deliver us a quality midfielder and I mean genuine QUALITY, a player who knows which direction ‘forward’ is, that would be superb. If you could stretch to a pair of them, then all the better.
- Controversially perhaps, but a new right-back? Alan Hutton is starting to look like the ghost of Christmas past!
- Another goalkeeper please, thanks for the one you gave us, he’s ok (inside his six-yard box) but he needs competition/backup.
- Some new batteries for our Jordan Ayew, his decision making and end product has gone skewiff. Some decent Duracells should fix it.
- A Gardner screamer from 30 yards perhaps? I’ll take one in a match that matters. We all know he’s got it in him and he’s just signed a new contract, so needs to show it.
- Safe Standing for the Holte. You’re fat and jolly and I know you hate sitting down at football too Santa, so this would be a help, everyone likes a singsong too on the Holte End.
- Mr McCormack has requested a boost in confidence and its probably best you keep him away from the festive Turkey too to be honest, our little friend from north of the border is going to be pivotal in Jan.
- A new contract for RHM perhaps? Santa nobody wants to see him end up like Scott Sinclair.
- Lower prices (again, I know I asked for this last season) especially for away matches, twenty’s plenty and all that.
- I would say a cup run, but Spurs away? Yeah right….thanks for that (won’t even get our free first cup game on season ticket)
- A clean bill of health for Mr Baker till May please, I know you’re really going to have to push the boat out there.
- A six-pack of Bacardi breezers for one J Grealish (for obvious reasons)
- Now Santa, this is a BIG ASK I know, but if there were any chance you can just get the African Cup of Nations cancelled, that would be another festive miracle. We like having Jonathan Kodjia around the place.
- If not, a successful January transfer window will suffice.
- If you provide my claret and blue brothers with a full house to play to, that would really be a festive bonus, mothballing half a stand is embarrassing, as is us having to sing “empty seats my lord” in a half empty stadium!
- Gabby has requested a treadmill again by the way, I know you gave him one last year; he swapped it for shisha pipes, burgers and cigars.
- A new suit for Keith Wyness?
- On a final note, if you could keep us unbeaten at Villa park untill May, I’m sure we’d all sing your praises, if that’s even something you can put a bow on.
Follow Chris on Twitter – @BUDD_music
Follow MOMS on Twitter – @oldmansaid