Thursday, 6 January 2011

Aston Villa - Relegation Contenders?

Back in September I wrote here about my love of Aston Villa and how I will always be a Villain. I was doing so on the appointment of Gerard Houllier as the new manager at Villa Park.

Now, at the end of that blog post, I happened to mention my pessimism for the season ahead with the loss of Martin O'Neill at the helm. I happened to conclude by saying that whatever happens, be it Champions League qualification, mid-season obscurity or relegation, I would still be a Claret & Blue come what may.

Relegation Zone
Well, I could surely not have truly realised on writing that final throw away remark at the time that in just 4 months time, I would find myself looking at the league table with my beloved Villa in the bottom 3.

But waking up this morning, I'm afraid that's exactly what I've seen. For the first time since 2002, for 9 whole years, Villa are in the relegation zone. The 1-0 defeat to Sunderland last night coupled with other results going against us has seen us slump to this new low.

It really has been a horrid season to date. Despite the batttling 3-3 draw against champions Chelsea last weekend, it can't hide what has been a woeful run of just 5 points scored from the last 27. Besides, it isn't as if Chelsea have been playing championship winning football of late themselves!

What greatly concerns me though isn't just the lack of points in the bag, but also the goal difference. At -15 it is the joint second worst in the league alongside Wigan who are level with us on 21 points and just ahead of West Ham's goal difference of -16 who happen to be bottom on 20 points.

So, in all honesty, Villa deserve to be exactly where they are.

It goes without saying that this petrifies me! Whether they're burned out or not from an exhausting winter schedule, it's been no less demanding for the majority of the other teams in the Premiership (apart from Blackpool who haven't played since 1994 because of their frozen pitch).

Houllier has not galvanised the team in the way that his predecessor did but he will really need to now for the games ahead. Our next match is the big derby away to Birmingham - they're going to love that! That will be followed by games against both Manchester City and United with a 'relegation six-pointer' against Wigan thrown in between.

I'm really really keen to see my beloved Villa play Swansea and Cardiff next year. But I want that to happen in the Premiership and not the Championship.

Are Villa too good a team to go down? We should be, but we're not. We are where we are because we've been playing like relegation contenders.

Sort it out Villa for crying out loud.


  1. I've seen Villa a few times this year being a Birmingham resident. I don't feel their style (or lack of it) has changed much from last year. What has changed though I think is even O'Neill's team had a distinct plan and shape, even if the football they played was very often poor. I feel that Houllier's team doesn't know what it is and what kind of football it wants to play. They also seem to lack leadership on the pitch, especially if Dunne is not playing.

    I fear for them.....

  2. Nice blog with great insight on Aston Villa, truly amazing inputs.

    Thanks alot