Lets fast forward to 16.49 on the 19th May 2013, the venue is the DW Stadium where the silky, smooth voiced Jeff Stelling confirms Aston Villa’s relegation, the unmistakable disbelief etched on the faces of the club’s supporters.
This scenario sounds unreal but it is a real possibility. After watching the Brummie/Black Country Derby on Sunday, I am bewildered to what is happening at Aston Villa. The howls of derision from The Holte End at the final whistle demonstrated how far Villa has fallen. WBA played with panache, pace, width and inventive attacking football in front of a solid defensive unit.
In the Claret and Blue corner, Villa played akin to an over 55s Sunday morning team. It was uncomfortable viewing for the Villa Park patrons and suggested to me that the home side could be labeled as relegation candidates. Surely the former European Champions are not in danger of slipping out through the Premier League trapdoor?
Well looking at the Villa forums, a place where supporters love to vent and tend to complain even when victorious, the natives are restless. The blame game has named and shamed Randy Lerner, citing him for all of the club’s current problems. Conversely, I think this is shortsighted.
Not one supporter voiced their displeasure towards Randy Lerner when he handed out £10,000 notes like they were nightclub flyers, during Martin O’Neil’s tenure. By and large, that money was wasted and now cuts have to be made. The rot goes much deeper than Randy’s pockets, so who is to blame?
In my view all parties from the overly vociferous fans, the senior players who are openly expressing their displeasure, to rookie manager Paul Lambert (particularly for dropping their talismanic striker Darren Bent on Sunday) are the key protagonists in Aston Villa’s downward spiral.
It should be an era of stability, cohesion and positivity at Villa Park, something that seems an awful long way away as their league points tally and performances would advocate. However it is not all doom and gloom for the Villians.
Harmony at the club could bring the best out of the underachieving-but-precocious talented Charles N’Zogbia, a content Darren Bent easily produces 15 league goals, multi-skilled youngsters like Marc Albrighton and Barry Bannan are being given a chance to showcase their ample abilities, and not forgetting how intimidating Villa Park can be.
These chinks of lights could become rays of sunshine if handled correctly but the situation is on a knife-edge. We are not talking about seismic changes needing to be made but if the status quo continues, Mystic Bellamy’s doomsday prediction could yet come to fruition. It may not be boing boing Baggies but bye bye Aston Villa.
Are Villa too good to go down? What do you think?
image: © mollyig