This latest incarnation of the Aston Villa team are marvellously creative in finding ways to lose games, with the defence excelling at gifting opponents with three points.
Probably the most memorable example being when Villa were 2-0 up with 18 minutes to play at Leicester, yet still managed to lose 3-2, with Guzan allowing a 5 ft 5 winger to out jump him to score the winner in the last-minute.
At Vicarage Road last weekend, Villa even topped that. 2-1 on 90 minutes, they still transpired to lose. This time the blame must go to Black, who wasn’t defensive enough after the team went down to 10 men – Bacuna switching to be in a central defensive three? Come on.
Anyway, enough of the latest Villa farce, here’s five reasons to be cheerful as Aston Villa fans.
5. Foxes Mock Villa Board
After the wheels fell off the Villa’s initial Champions League push at the start of the Lerner reign, the Villa board dumbed down the club’s ambition. Paul Faulkner and then Tom Fox essentially told supporters that European nights were a thing of the past.
The ambition at the club shrunk and unfortunately a lot of fans bought into that and accepted it. Suddenly we didn’t know who we were as a club any more.
Should we be happy for mid-table? Was survival the goal?
No, the bloody goal should have been to have a decent manager to build a team with a proper spirit and togetherness, that translated to effort on the pitch. To have a decent scouting system, to engage supporters and get them more central in the club’s thinking. As for Villa Park, no team should be able to take any points from visiting without showing blood, sweat and tears, no matter who they are.
Ultimately, Villa should start every season with the aim of winning a trophy. Aim high and in trying to reach the goal, you might at least make satisfactory progress in failure. Aim at nothing more than survival and you’ll only end up relegated if you fail.
Leicester City in winning the league, showed that if you have the will, there is a way, and that there is no substitute for effort and team spirit. It’s something that money can rarely buy.
The Foxes compounded Lerner’s failure, but at the same time proved to be an inspiration for a club like Aston Villa going forward. The Sky Sports Top Four status quo might not be the final word on success in English football after all.
An an aside, it has been noted that Leicester have now won three major trophies since Villa won their last one in 1996. We must do something about that, once we sort the current mess out.