We are Villans and we can’t just give up
Can Aston Villa even begin to dream of pulling off one of the Premier League great escapes or is it just pie in the sky and we’re clutching at straws to even think of it?
Put it this way, if Rémi Garde can pull Aston Villa out of the mire and secure the club’s Premier League status at the end of the season, perhaps only Claudio Ranieri could pip him to the Manager of the Year award, if he led Leicester City to a Top 4 finish.
In a MOMS poll last week only 21% of Villa fans thought Villa would survive relegation this season. The Birmingham Mail also ran a similar poll, and the result was exactly the same – 21%.
79% of Villa supporters can’t be blamed for thinking the club is doomed, after all, from Villa’s current position of six points from 15 games, no team has ever survived. In fact, only one team has ever been in that position in the Premier League. Derby County in 2007/08 were also on six points after 15 games, and they finished the season on a record pathetic 11 points.
This month of December will define what Randy Lerner is willing to do in the January window
Lets not kid ourselves, you’ve just got to look at the young inexperienced Villa squad with its lack of match winners or leaders, to realise the writing is very much on the wall. The new ‘transfer committee’ bought in too many inexperienced young players in at the same time, with little ‘ready-to-go’ players. Normally you bleed in young or overseas players one or two at a time, not have half a team of them replacing your previous best players. It was naive at best.
Yet, while supporters have been slowly drained of our spirit and belief over the past four seasons, we are Villans and we can’t just give up.
One thing is for sure though, those supporters waiting until January for some new players to be some miracle cavalry to rescue Villa out of this mess, are kidding themselves. The key period is NOW. This month of December will define what Randy Lerner is willing to do in the January window and if Villa have a platform of points to launch a fight back.
Villa are four games away from the half-way point and sitting on only six points!
For Villa to escape the drop, it would surely be a bigger achievement than even the below Premier League great escapes.
Five Premier League Great Escapes
4. West Bromwich Albion 2004/05
After 15 games: 20th on 10points
There used to be a saying, whoever was bottom on Christmas day ended up relegated at the end of the season. That is until Villa’s noisy neighbours did a spot of the Harry Houdini’s in the 2004/05 season. After Gary Megson was sacked towards the end of 2004, his successor, Bryan Robson, was winless until January. Then, results improved and the Baggies would lose only three of their final dozen matches – before the Baggies entered a final four-way final-day relegation scramble.
Each of the bottom-four sides had a chance of staying up on the final day, with bottom placed West Brom still needing to beat Portsmouth and hope three other results went their way.
Norwich City’s fate was sealed with a 6-0 loss at Fulham, while Manchester United beat Southampton 2-1 at St Mary’s Stadium. Then despite Villa’s current much-maligned left-back Kieran Richardson (on-loan at the Baggies from Manchester United) putting the Baggies 2-0 up against Pompey, they still needed Crystal Palace not to win at Charlton Athletic…but Palace were winning.
A Charlton equaliser though gave Robson and Albion the final piece in the unlikely survival jigsaw.