Aston Villa is for me one of the great old fashion English top-flight clubs. The Villans are a club with a good history.
They were one of the elite clubs which was part of a select group who pushed for the creation of the Premier League.
They are a club with the potential to be a big club in the modern era. Unfortunately they have lost their way in recent years and others have financially dwarfed them in recent years.
Yesterday the Villans slumped to a 3-2 home defeat against Watford in a thrilling encounter for neutrals. For Villa fans it was just another disappointing display from their team.
Has Randy Lerner given up on Villa?
Like so many Premier League clubs these days Villa are owned by a foreign owner in Randy Lerner. The US businessman has owned the club since 2006, in which time Villa fans have gone through every emotion possible.
Lerner initially invested money in the club and they were threatening to make the top four spots from 2007 to 2010. However, gradually Lerner seems to have stopped his financial support.
The quality of player over the last five or so years has slumped dramatically. Villa bosses have had to sell to buy. All their best players leave because the club, sorry Lerner, has completely lacked any sort of ambition.
This summer was a prime example as Villa’s most talented players Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph decided to move on to clubs with more ambitious, money and drive.
Villa in many ways is very similar to Everton. In the fact they were one of those clubs who pushed for the lucrative Premier League, yet have been left by the wayside when it comes to finances.
However, the difference is that Everton have for much of the last decade been perceived as relatively ambitious. The players have bought into it and more often than not the Toffees have been in and around the top six or eight of the Premier League table.
Ambition starts at the very top of a football club and for Villa that is Lerner. As he seems to have left the club to fend for itself, with Villa only buying when they have sold. Unfortunately recruitment has not been great at the club either, which has left Villa with a team of youngsters and also rans.
Can Remi Garde turn it around?
I have to say I had admiration for the job that Remi Garde did at Lyon, when the clubs finances were tighter than a nun’s habit. He was hired as a firefighter in France, but this is a far bigger fire than the one he put at Lyon.
Lyon was sort of a little fire that just needs one squeeze of the fire extinguisher. At Villa the fire has engulfed the whole house and even Birmingham City fans are calling the fire brigade.
Yesterday was a worrying performance from Villa. By all accounts and watching the highlights, Villa produced a decent performance and looked quite threatening. They scored two goals, which by Villa standards in recent months is high achievement.
Yet they still suffered a defeat by a plucky Premier League newcomer. These are the sort of games that will define Villa’s season. Garde needs to address the gaping hole in the Villa defence that seems to be inviting teams in to score.
The French boss has to sort his defence out quickly, as the Villans have now conceded seven goals in their last two outings. That is the sort of defensive record that gets teams relegated.
The fans deserve better
This is just an opinion of an outsider looking in, but most Villa fans seem to have accepted that their team are going down and have been in a massive decline in the last five years or so.
That is sad, because Villa fans still faithful go to the game in the hope that their team may just pull a rabbit out of the hat. Sadly David Copperfield is not currently in the Villa squad, so that particular trick is unlikely to be seen much around Villa Park in the near future.
Maybe Garde is into magic, because it is going to take one hell of a trick to move Villa out of the relegation zone and into the safety of 17th position in the Premier League.
Is Villa going down to the Championship with a whimper?