Wigan - The Season's CRUNCH Game
Our next game is Vital!
Our next game against Wigan may well prove to be a pivotal moment for McLeish and Aston Villa this season.
In fact, i believe it's shaping up to be the biggest game of the season for us. Win away, and we should start to climb out of the doldrums and finish in a mediocre position somewhere in mid-table (prob around 9th-13th).
Should the unthinkable happen, and we go and lose it, I think several things will start to kick off. There's been a few games this season where I've taken a look at our league position, and though to myself 'wow, if we lose this one, surely Mcleish is finished' but we've turned it around and won, staving off what many fans see as inevitable anyway - the removal (by management, or by fervent fan protest, either by financial or direct) of Alex Mcleish as Villa manager. (Bolton, Chelsea to a degree, and Wolves being the most notable)
However, should we lose against Wigan, we will be on less points than at the same stage last season, and I can see
1) any remaining pro-McLeish fans turning
2) the players heads dropping further as they realise we're in for a hard relegation battle,
3) the media picking up on our position / plight and labelling us as 'in a relegation battle'
After surrenders such as Man U / Man City at home and Spurs away and dismal showings such as Bolton at home in the Cup, Swansea at home etc etc etc, Mcleish knows that nothing but a win against Wigan is acceptable.
Now is the time for results.
Now is the time to prove that he has the abilities to manage at this level.
We know that virtually all fans do not want him, did not want him before he was appointed, and still do not want him now - myself among them. Opinion is obviously split as to when and how he should go, but our current league standing is doing nothing but condemn him further in the eyes of most fans. The other thing I wondered about is where we realistically should have expected to finish this season given our incoming and outgoing players. I think most right-minded Villains know that we wouldn't expect to necessarily finish top-6 anymore, so I thought about where our squad, on balance, should finish when our current manager is taken out of the equation, and I've come up with 9th - exactly where we finished last season (although you could say we underachieved somewhat last season).
Be interesting to hear your views on where you think we should finish, and what may / may not happen depending on this weekends results!