The guard changes slowly in the Barclay`s Premier League. That`s if and when it can even be bothered to change at all. It shifts almost imperceptibly, from Manchester to London and back, avoiding the city of Birmingham and Villa Park entirely. The claret, blue and limes nag at the edges. Sometimes we are good enough to play with the big kids, most of the time not.
Is that scenario likely to change any time soon? Is it?
The young Villans aren`t weighted with bad memories and failures. They lack doubt. They have the talent to go toe to toe with at least seventy five per cent of the premier league. With their youth comes possibility, and more importantly, passion, desire, commitment, and good health. Poorer quality, lesser teams, will limp along through to May and the finishing line, wondering, hoping and praying, that they have enough in their locker to hang on to their top flight status. We should sprint throughout the second half of the campaign. Mid table mediocrity and the safety it provides should be well within our grasp. Don`t we have so much going for us? Much more than our current companions in distress at the wrong end of the table? We do, don`t we?
We are blessed with a core group of young footballers who stand on the very verge of a domestic Cup Final appearance at Wembley Stadium. A core group of young footballers who are capable of making many happy returns.
Yes they are going to live and learn along the way, set-backs and failings will be commonplace as they progress and develop. It has come to be the accepted fact amongst Villans, that the odd heavy beating would no doubt come our way, as our talented young men come to terms with having to do a man`s job.
No one told us though to expect humiliations along the lines of the extremely worrying performance at Stamford Bridge. There can be no excuses for such insipid, inadequate performances.
I was fortunate enough to be at Carrow Road and Anfield, venues where despite somewhat flattering score lines, our vision for a better, brighter future really began to unfold before our rejoicing eyes. We started to really believe, we started to thump the drum, we started to get carried away. We perhaps started to get ahead of ourselves.
We overlooked the fact that we have only really made baby steps into the long haul that lays ahead of us, the road back to respectability. Stamford Bridge was a very rude, extremely alarming, but perhaps quite necessary wake-up call.
We could have done though without that 8-0 very rude, extremely alarming, even if necessary wake-up call.
Hopefully Stamford Bridge was a 'manhood game`. Hopefully our lads discovered a lot about themselves and each other, as Chelsea ran riot and well and truly dumped us on our backsides.
Lets face it, over recent weeks, they`ve discovered a lot to like about themselves. They have produced efforts and performances worthy of the circumstances and the situation.
At Stamford Bridge, they did not. They let themselves, the supporters, and Aston Villa Football Club down badly.
They now have two opportunities, in the shape of Tottenham Hotspur and Wigan Athletic, to begin repairing the damage created on that grey, overcast, depressing London Sunday afternoon at Stamford Bridge.
Go to it lads. Come On You Lions.
Aston Villa have six players away with their countries in the October international window.
Midfielder Jordan Veretout hasn't just had to adjust to life in a new country, at a new club and with a new language, there was also the small matter...
Err. The Vital Villa man of the match v Stoke City...
Manager Tim Sherwood has given his normal Monday briefing, and goalkeeper Brad Guzan has also given his thoughts as frustration reigns.
|1.||Pride of Lions||271|
|9.||LORD RON SAUNDERS||52|